A Jim of All Trades

Posts Tagged ‘automotive

Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals Car Show

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Back in May my dad and I went to the annual Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals car show. Carlisle is a town in Pennsylvania, not too far from where I live, that has a big fair grounds and hosts tons of car shows throughout the summer. My dad goes to a few each year and I tag along from time to time. We had never gone to the import show before so decided to this year.

This shows features foreign cars from all over and kit cars. Though still big, it was smaller than many of the car shows held there; the American brands just bring more people I guess. Still, it was really cool to go to and I got to see some cars I’ve only ever read about or seen online.

Following are a ton of pictures.
Hope you enjoy, thanks for looking!

Some of the types of kit cars on hand…

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One of the coolest cars there…

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Some motor swaps…

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This Fiat…IMGP9926xs

…had this engine…

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Written by Jim

July 3, 2015 at 9:45 am

Columbia PA Car Show

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It’s car show season again and over the past couple months I’ve gone to a few. I’ve been really bad about saving photos and am working on getting caught up. Expect to see some posts as I go back through them.

These are all from a show I went to yesterday in a near by town. There had to have been a couple hundred cars there, so these are just a few that caught my eye. Hope you enjoy!

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Written by Jim

June 21, 2015 at 10:47 am

Autocross Pictures

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Last weekend marked the end of the autocross season for the local SCCA chapter. I didn’t compete in any of their events this year and hadn’t even gone to any, so decided to go for a little bit on Saturday to take some pictures. Aside from taking some pictures I said hi to some people and had fun being there, but didn’t stay very long because I had other things to do. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to do some more driving and can make it to a few events.

Here are some of the pictures I took. I mostly stood in one place and shot pictures as the cars went by, but also walked around and took some of cars that weren’t driving. Hope you enjoy!

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Written by Jim

November 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Summer Autocross

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It was over two months ago, but I did do one autocross this year. While it would have been nice to do more, I was more focused on training and working on my bike this year, so didn’t devote much time (or money) to the car. The local Corvette Club hosted some autocrosses just a couple miles from my house at a nice big parking lot, so I went to one. It’s nice when they’re so close, I can put my racing wheels and tires on in the comfort of my carport and just drive there on them (rather than packing a ton of tools and the tires and doing it at the event). I was considering going to more than one, but when removing my tires I realized that cords are showing on one of them (meaning they’re extremely worn) so thought it wasn’t safe to keep using them. I’ll have to replace the tires before doing any more racing. In any case, I had a lot of fun and was pleased with how I did.

Here’s a video of my best run of the day.

I finished roughly in the middle of the pack overall, which I was happy with since I hadn’t done it for over a year. I messed up a bit at the end so know I could have been faster yet. Like anything else, you only get better with lots of practice, so I can’t expect to be too competitive unless I start doing it more often. If having fun is your only intention though, it’s still well worth it.

I brought my camera along, too…

Some friends of mine that lived close by stopped to watch and one of them was kind enough to take some pictures of me while I was driving.



It’s fairly common that some cars will have a rear tire come off the ground during extreme cornering at autocrosses. Some cars are notorious for it; Subaru’s, for example. In a hard turn while braking all of the car’s weight shifts to the front and outside, and all of the travel is used up in the suspension at the lightest inside corner – the rear. These aren’t the best pictures, but look at the rear tire… there’s space between it and the pavement.



It can look pretty funny. The softer the suspension the more the car will lean in a corner and the tire can lift up pretty high. LIKE THIS!

I mostly tried to practice taking panning shots. I didn’t do as well as last time. I just couldn’t get the timing of the cars right and ended up moving the camera a bit too slow or fast, resulting in blurry pictures. Using an auto focus lens (the 70-210) this time, I think the second it takes to find focus could be having an impact as well. It was still fun to shoot and I know I’ll improve with more practice.







Thanks for reading and happy driving!

Written by Jim

October 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Car Show

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If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a while since I’ve posted any pictures. That’s simple because I haven’t been taking any. I’m not a fan of cold weather and the rough winter we had kept me from going outside to explore and shoot photos. Thankfully spring is here and I’m feeling more motivated to pick up the camera again.

Last weekend I went to a local car show and took a number of photos. It was an overcast day and in order to capture the cars correctly I had to crank the exposure compensation up quite a bit. This unfortunately resulted in washing out lighter areas of the sky and background, so the picture quality is so-so. Still, the cars turned out okay enough, so I don’t mind showing these. All were taken with the Pentax K-r using the kit 18-55 lens. Having grown up going to car shows with my dad, I find that I’m sort of burnt out on muscle cars and am attracted more to the rarer and unique cars at shows, which is somewhat reflected in the pictures I took…

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Neat upholstery (not from car shown above)…

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This 1975 Chevy Monza…


…had this LS1 Vette engine in it…



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Thanks for looking and happy shooting!

Written by Jim

May 10, 2014 at 9:57 am

Autocross Pictures

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A couple weekends ago I went to an autocross to take pictures and I’ve just now finished saving and editing them. I shot a ton, not all of which ended up being keepers, but I had a lot of fun. I did not actually race, the X1/9 had already been put away for the winter, so I was solely there to take pictures. One thing I have little experience with is panning so I made it a point to practice that. I sort of figured out what to do and got a few good shots, but definitely have room to improve.

Anyway, on to the photos. All of these were taken with the Pentax K-r and most were using the old manual focus 135mm lens. I only chose a few to put on here but have all of them on my flickr. Please feel free to click the link below to browse my flickr feed to see all of the photos.


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Written by Jim

November 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Fiat X1/9 & an Autocross

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It’s been a while since I’ve said anything about my Fiat X1/9. Last year I got it out of storage, did some work to it, did one autocross with it in March, did some more work to it, and at my next autocross in June began having problems with it. It was hard to get it running and keep running and there were a few things at fault, but at that point I was out of patience and didn’t have any more budgeted for working on it. I think I fixed just enough to keep it running okay and drove it over a few weekends, but it went back into storage relatively early in the year and I didn’t autocross it again last year.

But as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this year I had renewed interest in working on it again. I didn’t get it out of storage until June, but I made a plan of attack and devoted an hour a day to wrenching on it for a few weeks to get everything fixed, plus some extra time over some weekends. It was nice splitting up the time like that because I never got too frustrated with it. Some nights were just spent re-positioning jacks and getting tools ready because there’s only so much you can do in an hour, but it worked for me.

Here’s a list of the work done:

  • new brake pads
  • installed an electric fuel pump
  • oil and filter change
  • installed a “hard-start” relay
  • replaced starter
  • installed new outer tie rod ends
  • did my best to align it (it’s not perfect, but improved)

And here’s how it looked for most of June:


Though I did have to rely heavily on a friend for advice for a couple things, everything went pretty well and it’s been running good since. It does still need more work – it’ll never be “done” – but I’m not doing anything major until next year at this point. Next will be fixing a transmission leak and hopefully doing some much needed body work.

Anyway, I’ve been driving it once a week, usually just for fun on back roads or to the gym on weekends, and it’s been a hoot.

(shot with a polarizer and some post processing was done)

I wasn’t going to autocross it this year, just don’t have the extra time and money to commit to it, but the local Corvette Club is hosting some events ONLY ONE MILE FROM MY HOUSE, and they’re cheaper than the ones I usually do, so how could I pass that up?? I mean, it’s so close I can drive there on my racing tires (not street legal) and don’t have to mess with changing tires in a parking lot with hand tools and bringing a ton of extra stuff along.

So yesterday I got the car all ready and today was my first autocross since the one in June of last year that was absolutely horrible.

Here’s the car yesterday with the tires on, all ready to go:

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way too much negative camber, but that’s the best I can do with my current setup

And here are two shots to sort of give an idea of the stance with the Slicks on… they stick out a bit:



The car doesn’t look that great non-photoshopped with all of it’s defects showing, but it is a very fun little car and I’m happy to have it.

Anyway, on to the autocross…

It rained today so it was a bit more challenging than under clear conditions. I had fun though and am glad I went. In the morning I finished 7th out of 14 overall and in the afternoon I finished 9th out of 14. I wish I would have been faster, but I’m satisfied with middle of the pack, especially considering it’s been over a year since I’ve done this. The car club that organized this is welcoming and I’m looking forward to doing their last event of the year in a couple weeks, at the same location.

Here are a couple pictures I shot in the parking lot today. You can sort of tell how small the X1/9 is compared to other modern cars.

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The club is a Corvette club, hence the number of Vettes.

And here’s a video I took using a Drift HD I borrowed from a cousin (neat little camera). This was my best run from the morning.

Thanks for reading and happy motoring!

Written by Jim

August 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm