Baja Bug

A Baja Bug is an original Volkswagen Beetle modified to operate off-road (open desert, sand dunes and beaches), although other versions of air-cooled Volkswagens are sometimes modified as well. A "Baja Bug" History Baja Bugs originated in Southern California in the late 1960s as an inexpensive answer to the successful Volkswagen-based dune buggies of the mid-1960s, especially the Meyers Manx. The building of the first Baja Bug is generally credited to Gary Emory of Parts Obsolete,circa 1968. The first Baja Bug in racing is credited to Dave Deal, the Californian cartoonist, in the Mexican 1000 of 1968 in Baja California. The first fiberglass Baja kit (bug eye kit) was not introduced until 1969 by the Miller-Havens company.In the early days before fiberglass body panels became available, enthusiast and racers simply made their own modification to both the body and mechanicals of a stock VW to develop a machine suited to harsh, off-road environments. The metal fenders and front and rear aprons of the car would be partially cut away to allow more for ground clearance and suspension travel. This came to be known as a "Cut Baja". More power was attained by fitting dual port heads and modifying fuel injection systems from Volkswagen Type 3 engines to work on the Type 1 Beetle engine. Conversion Basic modifications are simple. A lightweight, shortened fiberglass front body panel is fitted after the sheet metal from the trunk lid edge forward and rear engine deck lid and everything rearward (rear apron and engine compartment) is removed. The rear treatment leaves the engine totally exposed to aid in cooling. A tubular steel cage, along with a front and rear bumper, is fitted to the body and floor pan for protection of engine and occupants. Shortened fiberglass fenders both front and rear meant removal of the Beetle's distinctive running boards and the likely addition of more tubular steel parts (side bars) in their place. The rugged torsion bar front and rear suspension standard on the Beetle, allows it to withstand the rigors of offroading and the rear ride height to easily be raised slightly and stiffened to make clearance for larger heavy-duty off-road tires and wheels. The relatively light front end of the Beetle allows some compensation for the lack of four wheel drive. The taller sidewall tires provide more flexible ride comfort and rocky road ground clearance. The Beetle suspension "stops" can be moved to allow more suspension travel. Longer shock absorbers, for the increase in suspension travel, provide more damping control over bumps giving more driver control and comfort. Some people eliminate the torsion bar...

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Volksrod

Volksrods are modified Volkswagen beetles. They are used as an alternative to traditional Ford-based hot rods. Classic Ford Model Ts and Model As are becoming more scarce and more valuable than ever. VW Beetles are much more affordable, easier to find, and easier to find parts for. It is also a 1930s design, which is well-suited to hot-rodding's roots & tradition. Volksrod. Red Volksrod with a beam axle showing, mounted on coilovers. As with all types of car customization, lots of different modifications are practiced in different combinations. One popular method of conversion involves removing all body molding, bumpers and fenders, then installing a classic Ford front axle to move the wheels forward and give the car a low, stretched look. Another popular customization is to move the stock Volkswagen axle beam forward or reverse the trailing/torsion arms and re-work the steering linkages. A Volksrod might be finished off with a chopped top and original VW wheels. Paint jobs may be flat black, or more elaborate, including with pinstriping. While Volksrods may be very elaborate, like any hot rod, many are built with few or no expensive chrome-plated or machined aluminum parts, but handmade by a "cut, weld and drive" owner, with simple mechanical tools, welding equipment and basic parts.

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Sleeper (car)

A sleeper (US English) or Q-car (British English) is a car that has high performance and an unassuming exterior. Sleeper cars are so called because their exterior looks similar or identical to a standard or economy-class car. In some cases the car appears worse due to seeming neglect on the owner's part, typically referred to as "all go and no show". While appearing to be a standard or neglected car, internally they are modified to have higher performance levels. The American nomenclature comes from the term sleeper agent, while the British term derives from the Q-ships used by the Royal Navy. In the February 1963 Motor Sport magazine editor Bill Boddy said "the modifications carried out by Lotus have turned into a 'Q' car par excellence". The British film The Long Arm (film) (1956; aka The Third Key) mentions a Q car (unmarked) patrolling the city by night, indicating that the term was in use among UK law enforcement at least a decade earlier. A Third generation Mercury Marauder, the performance version of the Mercury Grand Marquis In July 1964, British magazine Motorcycle Mechanics carried an announcement from editor Bill Lawless of the use of two police 'Q–cars' – a black Daimler SP250 sports car and a green Farina Austin A40 – patrolling the A20 between London and Maidstone, Kent. Beginnings 1958 Chrysler 300D with 380 hp (280 kW) FirePower Hemi. The Chrysler 300 letter series began in 1955 with the Chrysler C-300. With a 331 in³ (5.4 L) FirePower V8, the engine was the first in a production passenger car to be rated at 300 hp (220 kW), and was by a comfortable margin the most powerful in American cars of the time. By 1957, with the 300C, power was up to 375 hp (280 kW). These cars were among the first sleepers, marketed as high-end luxury cars from the traditional luxury marque Chrysler, but with a high-end homologation racing engine. However, these cars lose their "sleeper value" due to both their rarity (this series was highly luxurious; it was made in limited numbers and examples are very expensive), and the well publicized successes of Carl Kiekhaefer in NASCAR racing (1955–1956); though the model is an important precursor of the muscle car. The Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 was a powerful sedan with a subdued exterior. A trend of overtly powerful saloon cars with subtle body modifications is exemplified by the work of Mercedes-AMG and Brabus on unassuming Mercedes saloons. The car which is most often credited as the start of the production Q-car trend in Europe is the Lotus Omega, which started out as an Opel Omega/Vauxhall Carlton. Owner-modified cars Some vehicle owners create sleepers by swapping more powerful engines or making other performance modifications, like adding supercharging or turbocharging, leaving the external appearance as it came from the factory. Sometimes hints of the car's true nature...

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Preservation and restoration of automobiles

The preservation and restoration of automobiles is the mechanical or cosmetic repair of cars. For example, the guidelines of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) are to "evaluate an antique vehicle, which has been restored to the same state as the dealer could have prepared the vehicle for delivery to the customer." Restoration means removing, replacing, or repairing the parts of a vehicle, while preservation means keeping the original components. Though automotive restoration is commonly defined as the reconditioning of a vehicle "from original condition in an effort to return it to like-new or better condition," There are many styles of which a vehicle can be restored, any of which can be performed at the discretion, desire, or taste of a vehicle owner or restorer. Restored 1949 VW Bug/Beetle Styles Traditional Traditional restoration is characterized as returning a vehicle back to its original condition or better "in an effort to return it to like-new or better condition ... can be refurbished using either original or reproduction parts and techniques." Traditional restorations can be performed with a focus to completely restore or to preserve as many original components as possible throughout the course of the restoration. Steve Segal, owner and restorer of a 1972 Pontiac Trans Am 455 H.O., explains the differences between the two methods when describing his project in a High Performance Pontiac magazine article: "'This was not a restoration in the traditional sense of diagnose and disassemble, bag and tag all part so you know where they go, if possible take a posture before you remove the part and put it in the part bag, strip them, sanitize them, fix them, repaint them, and put them all back together,' he says. 'It was a restoration with a preservation focus. It was done from an archaeological perspective. The ultimate goal was to put forth the maximum effort toward uncovering, referencing, documenting, and preserving any and all existing components and finishes.'" Muscle Car Restorations of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin also took a similar approach when performing the restoration of a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 described in an article series published in Car Craft Magazine; "While not completely unmolested, it was very close. So much so that the decision was made to preserve as much of it as possible rather than to just tear it down, strip it, and start from scratch." These levels of preservation of originality within antique vehicle restorations has proven to accrue more value than some fully restored vehicles at auction in recent years. The...

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Custom car

A custom car is a passenger vehicle that has been substantially altered to improve its performance, often by altering or replacing the engine and transmission; made into a personal "styling" statement, using paintjobs and aftermarket accessories to make the car look unlike any car as delivered from the factory; or some combination of performance modifying and appearance changes. Although the two are related, custom cars are distinct from hot rods. The extent of this difference has been the subject of debate among customizers and rodders for decades. Additionally, a street rod can be considered a custom. '32 three-window with a classic-style flame job and Moon tank, reminiscent of Chapouris' California Kid. Custom '51 Merc with red "ghost flames" and Appletons "Rat rodded" Model A with Edelbrock head and chrome carb hats on late-model flatty. A pre-war custom car by Coachcraft The iconic "T-bucket" custom. Exposed engine is virtually mandatory, as are flat windshield, headers, and open pipes. Soft top (shown) is optional. Also features chrome five-spokes, dropped tube axle, transverse front leaf spring, front disc brakes, open-face aircleaner, Weiand valve covers, and single 4-barrel (probably a QJ). Front suspension of yellow lowboy Deuce roadster. Note color-matched springs on coilover shocks, tube axle, vented disc brakes. '41 Willys. Note the non-stock one-piece windshield. '55-7 Chevy with fuzzy dice 'Big Daddy' Roth 'bloodshot eyeball' shift knob was a 1960s craze. '28 A roadster with Kelsey-Hayeswire wheels History A development of hot rodding, the change in name corresponded to the change in the design of the cars being modified. The first hot rods were pre-World War II cars, with running boards and simple fenders over the wheels. Early model cars (1929 to 1934) were modified by removing the running boards and either removing the fenders entirely or replacing them with very light cycle fenders. Later models usually had fender skirts installed. The "gow job" morphed into the hot rod in the early to middle 1950s. Typical of builds from before World War Two were '35 Ford wire wheels. Many cars were "hopped up" with engine modifications such as adding additional carburetors, high compression heads, and dual exhausts. Engine swaps were often done, with the objective of placing the most powerful engine in the lightest possible frame and body combination. The suspension was usually altered, initially by lowering the rear end as much as possible using lowering blocks on the rear springs. Later cars were given a rake job by either adding a dropped front axle or heating front coil springs to make the front end of the car much lower than the rear. Immediately postwar, most rods would change from mechanical to hydraulic ("juice") brakes and from bulb to sealed-beam headlights. The mid-1950s and early 1960s custom Deuce was typically fenderless and steeply chopped, and almost all Ford (or Mercury, with the...

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Chrome plating

Chrome plating (less commonly chromium plating), often referred to simply as chrome, is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object. The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, ease cleaning procedures, or increase surface hardness. Sometimes, a less expensive imitator of chrome may be used for aesthetic purposes.   Decorative chrome plating on a motorcycle Process Chrome plating a component typically includes these stages: Degreasing to remove heavy soiling Manual cleaning to remove all residual traces of dirt and surface impurities Various pretreatments depending on the substrate Placement into the chrome plating vat, where it is allowed to warm to solution temperature Application of plating current for the required time to attain the desired thickness There are many variations to this process, depending on the type of substrate being plated. Different substrates need different etching solutions, such as hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, and sulfuric acids. Ferric chloride is also popular for the etching of nimonic alloys. Sometimes the component enters the chrome plating vat while electrically live. Sometimes the component has a conforming anode made from lead/tin or platinized titanium. A typical hard chrome vat plates at about 1 mil (25 μm) per hour. Various linishing and buffing processes are used in preparing components for decorative chrome plating. The chrome plating chemicals are very toxic. Disposal of chemicals is regulated in most countries. Some common industry specifications governing the chrome plating process are AMS 2460, AMS 2406, and MIL-STD-1501. Hexavalent chromium Hexavalent chromium plating, also known as hex-chrome, Cr+6, and chrome (VI) plating, uses chromium trioxide (also known as chromic anhydride) as the main ingredient. Hexavalent chromium plating solution is used for decorative and hard plating, along with bright dipping of copper alloys, chromic acid anodizing, and chromate conversion coating. A typical hexavalent chromium plating process is: (1) activation bath, (2) chromium bath, (3) rinse, and (4) rinse. The activation bath is typically a tank of chromic acid with a reverse current run through it. This etches the work-piece surface and removes any scale. In some cases the activation step is done in the chromium bath. The chromium bath is a mixture of chromium trioxide (CrO3) and sulfuric acid (sulfate, SO4), the ratio of which varies greatly between 75:1 to 250:1 by weight. This results in an extremely acidic bath (pH 0). The temperature and current density in the bath affect the brightness and final coverage. For decorative coating the temperature ranges from 35 to 45 °C (100 to 110 °F), but for hard coating it ranges from 50 to 65 °C (120 to 150 °F). Temperature is also dependent on the current density, because a higher current density requires a higher temperature. Finally, the whole...

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Boy racer

A boy racer is a motorist of any gender who drives an automobile that has been modified with aftermarket body kits, audio system and exhaust system, usually in an unlawful manner. It can also mean a compact sporty coupe that is heavily modified for racing. Wealthier motorists who drive sports cars, or those with costly modifications, often seek to distance themselves from the culture. Responses to the boy racer phenomenon range from laws prohibiting cosmetic modifications to vehicles such as decorative lighting and window tint, restrictions on recreational driving ("cruising"), to vandalism such as spraying expanding foam into cars with loud "big bore" exhaust tips to stop such cars driving around emitting loud droning noises. "Poser Mobile", a commercial parody of common boy racer mods, created by T-Mobile Boy racer spotted in Malaysia. Culture Publications for boy racers included Max Power, Fast Car, New Zealand Performance Car Magazine, MTV's Pimp My Ride and The Fast and the Furious as well as DVD publications and television shows. Boy racers are typically known for speeding away from traffic lights, playing loud music, and revving their engines rather than actual street racing. A typical boy racer is seen as a young man who sits very low in his seat and wears a beanie, baseball cap and/or hoodie. Vehicle modification Modifications typically associated with the stereotype include: Powerful sound systems Extravagant paint jobs Large, loud exhaust tips Imitation alloy wheels, often unusually too large for the respective car, with matching low-section, wide-base tyres that are often from several different low quality manufacturers. Hellaflush (tyres given excess camber, and scratching the tyre fenders) Spoilers and bonnet scoops (possibly non-functional) Suspension modifications to lower a car's ride height (often referred to as stance) Body kits, neon/L.E.D lights and other appearance modifications Tinted windows, often restricting the view from the car Boy racers by country New Zealand A modified Volkswagen Golf Mk4 The term boy racer is used in New Zealand to describe a youth that drives any form of vehicle that is Japanese and/or has been modified in any way (including factory fitted parts). The Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act 2003 is commonly known as the "Boy Racer Act". In 2009, a government led by the National Party augmented the Act with the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Actand the Sentencing (Vehicle Confiscation) Amendment Act, which allow police to confiscate and "crush" (correctly, dismantle for salable parts and destroy the remainder) vehicles on the third offence within four years, issue infringements for "cruising" and prosecute street racing and "antisocial" behaviour, by creating temporary by laws. The first car crushing sentence was passed down in December 2011. While the slang word "bogan" generally has a broader...

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