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(Editors Note: Tomorrow is Juneteenth in many States. The Kicker would like to honor everyone who’s free at last. Let us never take our liberty for granted and may we all march forward toward peace and a bright, unified future.)

Here’s a just-for-fun post we found at a site called Brittish Car Terminology.

British term American term
accumulator battery
actuator switch or servo
Artic ‘artic’ulated lorry=semi tractor-trailer
baulk ring synchro ring (transmission synchromesh)
bonnet hood
boot trunk
bulkhead firewall
choke tube venturi (carb)
core plug freeze plug
crocodile clip alligator clip
crosshead screw Phillips head screw
crown wheel ring gear(gear in differential)
cubby box glove box or glove compartment
damper shock absorber
drive shaft half shaft or axle shaft to wheel
drop-head coupe convertible (version of 2 door coupe, see roadster)
dumpy screwdriver short screwdriver
dynamo generator
earth ground
estate station wagon
fascia dashboard
fixed-head coupe 2 door coupe
frogeye bugeye
Gallon (Imperial) 4.5 US Quarts
gearbox transmission
gudgeon pin wrist pin
hood convertible top
jointing compound gasket sealant
lorry truck
mole wrench Vice grips
monocoque unibody
Ministry of Transport Department of Transportation
MOT (see above) DOT (see above)
nave plate hubcap
near side left side.
nose front of car
off side right side.
paraffin kerosene
pinking knocking or pinging
prop shaft drive shaft
petrol gasoline
prise pry(apply force with a lever, pry-bar, crow-bar, screwdriver)
proud raised, stands above surrounding surface.
quarterlight vent window – small, usually ‘triangular’ side window
rev counter tachometer
reversing lights back-up lights
ring gear flywheel gear, or starter gear (shrink fit onto the flywheel)
roadster convertible (car that comes only with a soft-top, usually a minimalist, manual, Erector-Set top*
roundabout rotary, traffic circle
RoStyle type of steel wheel (as opposed to wire)
saloon ‘sedan’,2 or 4 door
scuttle cowl
side curtains removable side windows, usually flexible plastic.
silencer muffler
sill rocker panel
shooting brake station wagon
spanner wrench
split pin cotter pin
spring washer split lock washer (as opposed to star washer)
squab part of seat
suction advance vacuum advance
sump oil pan
thrust bearing throwout bearing
tick over idle
top gear high gear
torch flashlight
trunnion sliding or rotating joint (suspension) (pin in bore)
tyre tire
wanker someone who hacks on their car — usually clueless
wheel nut lug nut
Whitworth British thread standard (size denotes hex head size)
windscreen windshield
wing fender

4 Checkpoints When Buying a Classic Car


Classic car restoration can be a beast, even for DIY mechanics with plenty of experience. Depending on the needs of your classic ride, there’s bound to be at least a few areas where you’re not skilled—working out dents, re-upholstering or simply having connections to the right dealers who have original parts. For many people, owning a restored classic car is a major item on their bucket list. However, it’s easy to get stuck with a lemon.

It’s also easy to spend several thousand dollars on restoration, ultimately getting you a car that (albeit close to perfect) you’ve dumped way too much money into. When shopping for a classic car project, there are a few checkpoints to carefully consider. Simultaneously, you should also have a restoration shop in your corner who provides quality results that work with your budget.

  1. Rust=no go

jaguar-3366957_1920.jpgRust is fairly common, and when it’s minimal and just on the surface, you might be able to power wash it off. However, if the chassis has been destroyed or if you’ll need to totally replace steel panels, it’s not worth it. It’s not unusual to strip the chassis, sandblast it, remove sections and weld brand new pieces together. This isn’t just expensive, but ultimately means it’s not an original car. Only the lucky few can find replacement panels, but most need to create makeshift panels themselves. Rust buckets should be reserved for only the very skilled (or the very wealthy).

  1. Focus on value

auto-3351802_1920There are tons of old cars out there, but age alone doesn’t make a car a classic. While there will always be niche markets for pretty much every car, you deserve one that retains its value. Never let impulses control your purchase, and spend some time researching the most reliable classic cars that won’t lose their value. Bonus points if you snag a car that appreciates—and remember that upfront costs are only a small portion of what you’ll be spending.

  1. Check for replacement parts

auto-3352982_1920Assuming the worst case scenario happens and you have to replace a lot of parts, how easy are they to find? How affordable are they? Purchasing a really rare car is a thrill, but if they don’t make it anymore (or the manufacturer no longer exists), it’s going to be tough to find aftermarket parts. Pretend like you’re searching for parts well before making the purchase, and experience first-hand what might be in store.

  1. Power up

abandoned-3401168_1920At the very least, you need a car that easily starts and runs. If it overheats during the test drive, is cranky to start or the current owner promises “all it needs is a new battery,” be wary. If the battery story is true, most owners would spring for that cheap part in order to sell their car. A more likely scenario is a seized or otherwise destroyed engine that needs replacing.

Ideally, you have an expert on hand who can run diagnostics on the car before you make an offer. If the seller is on the up and up, they’ll be happy to let a pro take a look. If they resist, they’re probably hiding something and you’re better off continuing your hunt elsewhere.

Locating a Car


There are four reasons why the police may want to “locate a car;”

  1. To recover a stolen car
  2. To establish that a certain car was at the specific location at a certain time
  3. To stop and arrest someone with a warrant
  4. Retrieve an abductee

Obviously, the best way to identify a car is through the license plate. But plates can be stolen which can muddy the waters. A better identification is the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) which is engraved on a plate in the dashboard, visible through the windshield. This makes personal, visual confirmation the primary way to locate a vehicle.

So police might canvas a neighborhood looking for a suspect vehicle or for a resident who knows where the vehicle is. However, what happens if you don’t see the car? Well, there are still other ways.

The Sat-Nav (Satellite Navigation) system can track a car’s movement in real time. This may take a warrant, or not, depending on your jurisdiction. Why spend all that time tracking down a car when there is a programme following where the car is going all the time? Many people don’t think about their onboard navigation. Professional car thieves do. Unsurprisingly, when people steal a car the Sat-Nav is the first thing to go.

Although many people don’t have records of their tire tracks, certain tire marks at a crime scene may be checked against a car to see if they are the same sort. In fact, there is a national database for tire tracks and composition so that a tire can be quickly identified from the residue it leaves. This would suggest that a car was at a certain place, but you may need additional clues to work out when the car was at the location.

If the car was involved in a collision it may leave debris at the scene. There may be entire panels but usually, it’s just bits of paint. It may be part of the hood, some glass from the window or anything else. Most national law enforcement agencies maintain a database of the characteristics and composites of every aspect of vehicles commonly driven in their jurisdictions.

car-1531277_1920Even if nothing is physically left at the location, it might help to think deductively. If a car’s gas is being paid through a certain account knowing where that card was recently used provides indications of where it might be going. Once the search area is established, police could search for security cameras or closed-circuit cameras to establish a visual identification. The person’s account is a brilliant source of information, especially in these days when people pay by credit card.

Then there are cars used for professional purposes. A car used as a taxi may have the markings of the business which runs it, making it visually easier to spot. Of course, the fastest way to establish location might be to ask the cab’s control office. Dispatchers should generally know where a vehicle is.

The placard on rideshare vehicles are less noticeable and blend in with thousands of other rideshare vehicles. Clearly Uber tracks everywhere a cell phone associated with the driver’s account goes, which the company will turn over to law enforcement if requested. It’s not proof positive that a car was at a particular place at a particular time, but it’s quite likely.

Kicker Blog hack: Some pay as you go cell phone plans are cheap enough that you can leave an old cell phone charged up in your glove compartment so that if you’re separated from your vehicle authorities could locate the phone and with it the car.

What happens if a car has been stolen, how do you recover it? Well, it’s essential to act quickly. Don’t assume the stolen car is still being driven around. With an older car the parts may be more valuable than the car itself, so it may be quickly chopped up. Even with newer cars, many thieves essentially launder the car by selling it in parts. It’s hard to scrub the VIN number off all the places its engraved unless you take the car apart anyway.

The criminal may give themselves away with the rareness of these parts though, and the lack of a “paper trail” to who owned them. It becomes clear after a little digging, so it comes down to the honesty of the auto parts intermediary or dealer.

So how do you know if you’re at risk of losing your car to a thief? If you have a rare, or collectible vehicle you’re more of a target. Also, expensive or luxury brands are more often stolen for obvious reasons—the reward better justifies the risk of getting caught. However, there’re a couple factors that might not come quickly to mind.

  1. The risk goes down in areas that don’t enforce the car theft laws.
  2. The risk goes down if the chopped parts being sold are common.

So watch out for areas on borders between countries or states. The Oregon/Washington border, for example, Border cities Vancouver and Portland charge each other extradition when a car thief is jailed before trial, so car thieves steal their cars in one state and chop it across the state line so that if they’re caught they’ll be released before trial. In these areas, more common vehicles lower the risk of getting caught further and nearly any vehicle in good condition is a target for theft.

The only remaining device left to police is to target thieves instead of the vehicles threw bait cars. By allowing car thieves to attempt to steal a car that won’t actually start but is equipped with cameras, the arrest is quick and the case against them is sure.

Although not all cars are located, there are many techniques out there to make sure that cars are recovered and returned to the owners. And now you know.

Fun Local Finds

2018-06-07 16.03.50

When you start looking around at cool vehicles you run into a many fun, unexpected things.

2018-06-02 14.11.20Take this couple, who’ve modified their trike to accommodate the special needs of their best friend.


Or this surprise, free classic car show that happens every first Thursday all summer at Lisa’s (a local diner).


2018-06-07 16.03.17I came before a lot of the cars had arrived. I look forward to going back and interviewing some of the owners.

2018-06-07 16.03.36.jpg

So get out and think cars folks. It’s a fun hobby and a great group of creative people who believe in the romance of the road.

2018-06-07 16.03.07

Dangers of a Flood Car


After the flood waters of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy retreated, a flood of another kind began–the flood of brand new vehicles that were totaled by insurance as a result of flood damage hitting the car auctions.

“Flood cars” flood the market (literally) following most natural disasters. Unfortunately, it can be pretty tough to spot a flood car without a trained eye. It takes not only inspection but a bit of detective work. After collecting an insurance payout, or sometimes while waiting months for insurance to do the right thing, dealerships can accept a settlement for a totaled vehicle and “buy” it back from the insurance company. The title will have a salvaged title, aka rebuilt title. Sometimes it won’t and we’ll come back to that.

Local Disasters

First, let’s address localized flood incidents. As a general rule of thumb, avoid vehicles which are being sold close to recent disaster sites and always trace the origin back to the previous owner’s address. Chances are if you buy a car that was recently registered near a massive flood, it sustained some damage that’s invisible to the naked eye.

After Big Disasters

Disasters on the scale of Katrina leave entire lots full of brand new vehicles totaled. Insurance companies are overwhelmed and slow to respond. These are cars with hardly a scratch and less than ten miles on the odometer. The temptation is to dry them out and clean them up, then sell them at auction and write off the loss. Unprincipled middlemen will snap them up and transport them to a part of the country far from the flood where they auction them again for large profit.

It’s important to note that auctions allow almost no pre-bid inspection. Most large dealerships that accidentally buy a “bad” car simply re-auction them. It keeps there name clean but creates a glut of cheap cars that go to other dealerships that don’t care about reputation.


The Good News

The good news is that flood damage isn’t always invisible, but you might need to check some otherwise strange locations. The upholstery is going to be the first place water damage is noticeable, with rot, mold or mildew being present. You may have to lift some of the upholstery to get a peek, but remember that a good cleaning (from a shoddy dealership) can temporarily keep visible signs of water damage at bay.

Here’s how to avoid a flood car and why you should never take a gamble.


Only Use Honest Dealers (Trust but Verify)

 If you buy a car from an owner, they can stretch the truth as much as they like with no real repercussions. However, a car doesn’t need to be in a disaster zone in order to get flood damage. If you’re considering a car from an owner in an area you’re unfamiliar with, do a brief search of recent floods in the area to see what the odds are of ending up with a flood car. If the car has been auctioned repeatedly in a short period of time that’s a warning sign. If the asking price is too good to be true, it’s for a reason.rolls-royce-3366960_1920

Otherwise, research dealerships, check testimonials and trust your gut. If there are high-pressure sales, a sudden influx of cars or other red flags, it’s best to stay clear.

No matter what, rely on a third party such as a lemon busting company to do a full inspection. When you’re paying the inspector, their allegiance is to you. You’re mechanic is often to busy to do an inspection at the drop of a hat when you find the right car for you and they may not do the online legwork to get a good picture of the cars history.

Bottom line, don’t depend on a dealership to provide comprehensive information; they should welcome a third party unless they have something to hide.

Flood car dangers

 When talking about device failures it’s important to note three things:

  1. What’s likely to fail?
  2. How catastrophic the results of the failure?
  3. How expensive it is to fix (to prevent or repair damage)?

The full impact of flood damage might not come to light until weeks, months, or even a couple of years later. However, the internal damage can be severe and not noticeable even to a skilled mechanic.

One of the most common dangers is brakes that suddenly go out months after flood damage from rust. Obviously, a vehicle is made up largely of metal parts which are prone to rust. Brakes can fail with no sign if they were submerged in water.

Other common flood car problems are electrical issues (and resulting fire hazards) as well as black mold which hides in hard to reach spaces and can be fatal to humans.

So the issue here is less about what could fail, it’s about how bad the results are when they do. There’s no point in risking the purchase of a flood car. They’re simply unsafe and unpredictable.

Slow Down There, Speed Racer


Make Sure Truck Insurance is Protecting Precious Cargo

            You might be souping up rides for weekend warrior activities, or to show off at the upcoming auto show, but either way, protection is crucial. Make sure your car insurance is as solid as your ride. You can save cash by taking a defensive driver course that is state approved. This is a relatively easy way to lower costs and can help prevent an accident during those winter months when roads are icy. Drivers can also get a discount by combining policies and having house, vehicle, and even ATV coverage handled all in one place.

Disaster Isn’t Just on the Speedway

A lot of people grew up watching high-speed races on television, and it seems like that has extended to daily commutes, too. Almost 20 percent of all accidents are speed related and some people mistakenly assume things are safe in a heavy truck. Bigger vehicles might offer more protection, but there is still plenty of room for injuries and extensive damages. That custom ride deserves custom coverage to make sure that all of the bells and whistles are safeguarded should an accident happen.

pickup-truck-1700954_1920Weekends are often spent giving that prized possession the attention she deserves with tune-ups, modifications, and careful detailing. Make sure the same care is paid to protecting her on the road, whether it is a simple weekend trip or en route to the auto show. Low riders and big rigs alike need special defenses that only an expert truck insurance agent can provide.

Keep in mind that not all insurance packages are created equal, and some do not offer enhanced towing and labor which means the truck might be stranded on the side of the road. Towing fees are expensive, but adding this option on is a nominal fee. Situations are already stressful enough when a vehicle breaks down or is in an accident without worrying over how to get it to the shop.

Trouble does not end when vehicles are parked at home because there is always criminal mischief around. Grand theft auto is a serious threat and modified automobiles are even more at risk. Some thieves just cannot resist all of that custom work or high tech stereo equipment that is so easily accessible.

Who’s Checking Out Your Ride?

truck-956246_1920Sure, drivers expect some admiring glances after putting in all that elbow grease to modify the vehicle. However, remember that thieves are also taking a look at the goods and might be planning to ride off into the sunset in the lifted Jeep or restored Chevy. Take some precautions to make things more difficult for aspiring thieves.

People might remember “the club” from the 1990’s and fortunately, there have been some major improvements in terms of safeguarding automobiles. Installing a noise or motion sensor alarm is a good way to deter thieves. Simple stickers warning of an alarm might be enough to make criminals move on.

Families work hard to make a living, and investing some of that dough into high horse-powered machines is a rewarding hobby. Think about all of the time and money spent on the rig and how easily it can all be taken away. As you gear up for summer car shows, make sure you keep your ride and yourself well protected.


Of Presidents and their Cars


Sometimes we don’t think about why things are the way they are, we just accept them. For example, why, in a “car country” like the U.S., does neither the president nor the vice president drive on public roads? It’s not actually a law, that they can’t, but its official policy.

Perhaps the image that springs to mind is of a chauffeur ferrying the president about to important appointments–occasionally chatting with the POTUS about his day. In actual fact, the presidents’ drivers are part of their security team who is highly trained to take evasive action when necessary.

This all stemmed from the assassination of JFK. Even though the President wasn’t actually driving when that occurred, it reshaped how the secret service looked at threats during transport.

PresidentReaganLeaningonhisCJ8-700x469Still, a number of presidents find ways around the rule. Noted Jeep enthusiast, Ronald Regan drove a number of jeeps off-road, which some might think is more dangerous. He and Nancy bought a working 688-acre ranch in California to get away from the politics when he was governor and kept in through his Presidency. Hard to say if he did any stunt driving while acting, but he did get a vanity plate for the jeep that read, “Gipper.”

Which president sacrificed the biggest in terms of loving to drive? That depends on how you measure it. Donald Trump was certainly already accustomed to someone else doing the driving, however, he put the largest car collection of any President-Elect to garage until the end of his time in the White House. From a 1956 Rolls to a 2003 Merc all must remain in the garage. It’s a wonder why he wanted the job really.


On the bright side, traffic is no longer a problem. As you can imagine, the chief benefit of being a world leader is that your driver needn’t stop for a traffic light and even if things get really bad you can just go by helicopter instead.


Contrary to popular belief, there are several plains outfitted for the President, and whichever one he’s on becomes “Airforce One.” Likewise, whichever helicopter he takes is “Marine One.” The car equivalent is Limousine One, AKA the First Car, but it’s seldom called that. Most reporters and security personnel seem to refer to the main armored limousine containing the president by a codename, “The Beast.”

It kinds of make sense if you had a limousine that you wouldn’t drive it yourself, you’d hand over the keys to someone else. Perhaps doubly so if you’re running a nation 24/7.

Interestingly, with all the flags, etc. it still has Washington D.C. numbered plates. (Some national leaders don’t, the Queen of England for example.) This started in 2013 is most notable because the D.C. plates contain the Moto of Washington D.C. “Taxation without representation.” (The reference is to D.C. not having any representation in Congress but still paying federal taxes.)

Where is the car kept? Well, the 1910s were a tipping point in the car versus horse debate and the stables at the White House were converted into a garage at that time. Fear not, the President still has access to horses but they are kept elsewhere. Mostly though, the only time you’d see a presidential horse is at the swearing-in ceremony or at a president’s funeral; they have gone out of favor in recent years.

As most people know the Beast and its retinue of cars form what is known as “motorcade”. It should come as no surprise the term was coined by an automobile reporter in 1912 who worked for Arizona Republican. One of the vehicles in a presidential or vice-presidential motorcade is a Chevrolet Suburban, equipped with ECM (electronic countermeasures) to protects against guided attacks from a number of devices.

The Beast itself is highly customized by GMC, but most resembles a Cadillac. The Secret Service gives precise specs for the vehicle but obviously tells very little details about it. We are told it costs between $300,000 and $1.5 million. That’s a big range.

As of 2009, the weight increased drastically which necessitated higher capacity tires. Clearly visible to expert eyes are Goodyear Reginal RHS tires meant for trucks. Much of the weight comes from the armor plating and 5 inch thick, bulletproof glass.

The cabin is airtight against gas attacks, which creates some quirks. For example, there are no keyholes. The Passenger doors are opened via a method the Secret Service doesn’t disclose. Notice a theme here? Another quirk, the only window that rolls up or down is the drivers. Let’s hope it’s a powered window. Who wants to crank that puppy up and down?

rendering-of-new-presidential-limoThe Beast also contains fire extinguishers, 1st aid kits, and 2 pints of the blood in the Presidents type. But the best defense is a good offense, and the Beast’s offensive capabilities, include rocket-propelled grenades, a tear gas cannon, pump action shotguns, and infra-red smoke grenades. Okay, now I’m envious.

Finally, before you ask, yes the Beast Goes pretty much everywhere with the president. They have around 13 of them and they load them into c-130 aircraft even on trips to Asia.

It seems the Secret Service has responded adequately to the black eye they got from JFK’s assassination.


4 Big “Custom” Vehicle Paint Fails


When you hear the word “custom,” it’s usually synonymous with stunning, quality, show-stopping—or at least it should be. However, “custom” really just means something that’s done especially for a person. And sometimes that can be a DIY disaster, customization compliments of a very subpar “professional” or a massive fail that has everyone looking for the wrong reasons. When it comes to a custom paint job for your ride, custom doesn’t necessarily guarantee high quality.

You want to make sure people are looking out of awe and envy. Paint jobs can go wrong—horribly, terribly wrong. Remember all the clichés like you get what you pay for, and always do your homework before trusting a body shop with your baby. Otherwise, you might end up with one of these duds and be the laughingstock of your neighborhood.

Now That’s Dedication




“If nautical nonsense be something you wish,” well, then one particular car is probably right up your sandbank. Who knows why one owner was inspired to make an entire SpongeBob-themed car, but to each their own. On the other hand, it looked very much like a garage project that never saw the much-needed hand of a professional, complete with a marine colored-body covered in images of the stars and the crowning jewel or a green hood. However, if you’re feeling creative, that’s great—but there’s absolutely no reason for your car to suffer along with you.



Next up, one truck left some wondering if this is some kind of rig Firebird? An homage to a Tesla? Nope, it’s just a “regular rig” whose owner took the idea of flames a bit too literal and far. In reality, the paint job of one particular truck was pretty awesome and a skilled person obviously took to it. However, there’s no way to get around the blatant poor choice here. If the goal is to evoke panic, then this owner is successful—but if you don’t want to cry fire in a movie theater, you certainly don’t want to do it on the highway.

What Were They Thinking?

Don’t have a professional car paint on hand? No problem—just grab a sharpie and go to town (actually, stay home since those in town don’t deserve this visual assault). Sharpies can do a lot from spiffying up your black, scuffed up shoes to providing some touches to dark furniture with nicks. But when it comes to re-painting your car, depend on the best materials and the best experts for results you won’t be embarrassed by. You know how bad that middle school Sharpie manicure looked? It doesn’t look any better on a car.





Can’t decide between getting in your car or heading to a circus funhouse? You can have both with a monstrosity that’s part freak show, part vehicle and has a 100 percent laughable “paintjob.” A white sedan painted with black lines similar to tribal tattoos of the 90s, sadly it just might be possible that it was done at a body shop—which is further evidence that you need to read testimonials, check out photo galleries and make sure you’re trusting your vehicle to those who know what they’re doing (and have the photos to prove it). Otherwise, you might end up with a car fit for a fun house.




What you do with your ride is up to you, whether you want to pay homage to a cartoon or go overboard with a wacky design. No matter what you do, go for quality customization.