Triumph Bonneville T120 Black

img_4085Since the weather was just perfect last Friday, I walked over with a couple of my co-workers to the small barbecue restaurant down the street from my place of employment.  They have a Friday “special” on the menu for a BBQ sandwich, slaw and beans for five bucks.  Not bad and it was just “enough” for a quick lunch.

Well, on the way there in the parking lot I saw this awesome, modern Triumph Bonneville T120 Black.  I am not a big motorcycle enthusiast, I have always considered them as the next best thing to what Tony Montana labeled as a “first class ticket to the Resurrection”.  But, that does not mean I don’t appreciate a gorgeous machine when I see one.  This is one of those cases…




Across from this Triumph’s  parking spot, is a meat-and-three restaurant and sure enough, the motorcycle’s owner was seated next to the window.  I noticed him smiling as I took pictures and I gave him the thumb’s up.  I think he was pretty tickled!

Pretty awesome motorcycle, huh?


Honda S2000 Organizer

img_4100Every time I drive my 2003 Honda S2000 it puts a huge smile on my face.  This car is just awesome.  If I have a bad day, all it takes is to drive a few miles and just marvel at the F20C engine as it revs its way up.  Once 6,000 RPM’s hit, its VTEC time, yo!  And the F20C still has 3,000 RPM’s left to go.

Impressive!  After all, this is F1 DNA shit; this technology hails from the glory days of McLaren/Honda and Ayrton Senna.  It took none other than the boys from Maranello to build an engine that would produce more horsepower per liter than the F20C.

But I digress “big league” as a certain trained monkey would say (and for the record, the other trained monkey isn’t worth a crap either).  What I really wanted to share today is a nifty trick I found.  The one thing I don’t like to do in my S2000 is drive with the top down and have my wallet and iPhone in plain view on the passenger seat.  What to do?

One answer is use the storage compartment between the seats.  Fair enough, the lid has a lock and key but it is awkward to use.  I want something more convenient.  After some research on eBay, my gamble paid off:  as shown in today’s featured image I bought a center console storage tray for a 2010-2014 Mazda 3 or 6.


Part number for a Mazda 3 or Mazda 6 center console storage tray

Soon after I acquired my S2000, I bought a pair of extended length floor mats.  These mats are longer and cover the reinforcement beam in the floor of the S2000 protecting the factory carpet.  One drawback is the colour is a little off, but who cares?  I rather protect the carpet from wear and tear.


Extended length S2000 carpet mat

As you can see, the little tray fits perfectly…


Reinforcement beam and the Mazda tray

As you can see in this picture, the tray fits just perfectly between the reinforcement beam and the seat frame pad.  This little tray will now prevent my wallet and iPhone from sliding under the seat.  Added benefit is this all fits under the carpet mat and is within easy reach.

img_4096I need to get some stick-on Velcro on the back of the tray and that will lock it down for good to the factory carpet.  But overall I think it is going to work just fine.  Oh and the part was about $14 on eBay.  I think this is a keeper!



1980 Corvette

img_2349I am constantly in search for a new restoration project and this weekend I took a closer look at this 1980 Corvette.  According to the owner, it has  been stored for a decade and is in need of serious restoration.  Yes, it is a basket case but…  It is a C3 Corvette and it is red!

The 1980 Corvette is not known for anything close to “high performance”.  Instead, this is the start of the last body change for the C3 Corvette.  For 1980 through 1982 Corvettes, the nose received a re-design as well as the rear fascia modifications.  Regarding the engine, well, that is another matter completely.  These poor cars became neutered victims of government emissions restrictions and thus, the California equipped engine produced something like 180hp, the standard engine produced 200hp and the high-performance version did at best a whopping 220hp.  Oh how things have changed in 35 years; contrast that with my 2014 Camaro packing 400hp of electronic fuel injected power.

So what do we have here?  According to the build decal on the driver’s door,  this car is vintage October ’79 production of a 1980 Corvette.  The paint is past its prime, the interior is nasty and the engine is not original.  I have no idea how the engine is because it is not running.  This is an automatic transmission car and it has power widows.  The red paint is very faded but I think it must be the original color because there is not evidence of any other color in the jams.  I tried to look for the plaque with the color code but did not find it.

In other words, this 1980 Corvette is in need of a full body-off restoration.  However, as the following photos will show, there is some good:  wheels are original aluminum options, it has original T-tops and the body panel gaps (especially the hood) fit exceptionally well.  I found the spare tire and all glass is intact including trim pieces.

Front Nose

Since this is a 1980 Corvette, the nose section features the improved aerodynamic design.  In my opinion, it is easier on the eye but not as nice as the chrome-bumper version.  I suppose this is a plus for this Vette.  You can also see what I mentioned earlier, the body gaps are all very nice indeed.  Just by looking at the surface this indicates no earlier collision damage, otherwise why would all this fit so well, right?

Rear and Side Panels

The rear of the car also fits well.  The plastic tail lights show some serious discoloration and weathering but the rear glass is in good condition including the rear de-fogger.  The black trim is all in place, but it has peeled a little on the driver’s side.


Oh yes!  T-tops are de rigueur on a C3 Corvette and this one has T-tops.  I did not see any damage to the T-tops although I did not try to remove them.  There is no telling how long ago it has been since they were last removed.


And now really ugly part:  the interior.  This poor Corvette has not been treated very nicely and consequently the interior is in very poor shape.  The carpet is expired, ditto for the seats, door skins and dash.  The console is also in poor shape.

The knuckle in the tilt steering is broken as well as the outside plastic trim on the steering stalk.  I am not sure if the cloth seats are “original”, perhaps they were re-upholstered at some point in time but they will need full restoration – they are nasty!.  Funny thing though… If you look inside the glove box, on the left are slots for 8-track tapes.  Gotta love the 70’s!

What Next?

A basket case like this is not a deterrent to me.  After all, when I first purchased bowtie6 many years ago, it was in very bad shape.  Prior to bowtie6, I restored a 1984 Jaguar XJ6 which I drove with Corvette LT1 power for 16 years.  It too, was in bad shape.  Finally I have my cousin Jim’s machine shop and his ability to restore cars.

Since the engine is not original in this 1980 Corvette, my plans would be to replace it with a new LSx engine with a matching automatic transmission.  My preference is always a 6-speed but that would need a new pedal box and that would add complexity.  In my opinion the existing engine is just not worth it; instead an LSx will offer enough power to make this Corvette perform to modern standards.

Paint and body work don’t scare me either; I have access to paint guns, and a paint booth.  Granted, I have never worked on a fiberglass body but the fiberglass on this car does not show any serious cracks or missing pieces.  There will be a great deal of work preparing the body for new paint but that is mainly hard work and patience and even more hard work.  Finally, there was a little damage to the tip of the edges on the hood near the windshield, but I can almost assume this is a common issue with these cars.

When we inspected the car yesterday, the area under the windshield wiper mechanism looked in very good shape and there was no evidence of poorly repaired collision damage.  Again, the body panels fit very well.  I also inspected the inside of the rear fender wells and there was no evidence of rust.  The rear roll-pan where the spare tire does not show any collision damage either so all-in-all the car looks solid.

One more concern is that both door latches did not work so well.  They appear to be gummed up because the mechanism did not release very well.  The door latches did release but not smoothly.

The interior will be the most challenging aspect.  I did notice the speedo looked odd.  From what I have researched Corvettes of this vintage had the dreaded 85 MPH speedometers installed.  This one did NOT have that; it was a normal speedometer.  Not sure what that means, perhaps this is because it is an October 79 production run.

The seats seem to be intact but the outside cover trim pieces are cracked.  I am not sure what availability of these pieces will be.  As for the rest of the interior, well I suppose that will need patience and a lot of work.

In Conclusion

I did not make an offer on the car.  Unfortunately the owner did not have a clear title and without that, I will not buy the car.  However I think there is potential.  Needless to say, we did not talk money yet but I am sure this car can probably be purchased at a low price.

OK.  I am a firm believer in buy the best car you can find.  However in a case like this, there is potential and if I were to buy this for a reasonable price then all for the better.  These are not super desirable C3’s but this is a C3.  I have always liked the aero treatment and I think they just look bad ass…

Finally I am going to reach out to you and ask for your opinion.  If you have owned (or currently own) a late C3 like this and would like to add any words of wisdom, please let me know in the “Comments” section below.  I also would welcome any advice on what you would consider a reasonable purchase price.

I have seen so many pictures of late C3’s this weekend my head is spinning!  And what makes this so hard to figure out is all those pictures are stunning!  A 1980 Corvette rebuilt is a looker for sure!

Thanks and look forward to any info, suggestions, etc.




TR6 Front LED Bulbs

img_4070The missing Triumph TR6 front LED bulbs came in this week.  I say missing because the “kit” I bought included the wrong front LED bulbs:  for the 1972 TR6, the bulb must have two “filaments”.  In other words, these bulbs double as parking lights and turn signals.

Today’s featured image shows the bulbs installed and in their “park light” mode.  I left the lenses off to show off the amber color and just how bright hey are!

And one more picture, this time a closeup showing all the little light emitting diodes and why the coverage is so great.


Multiple rows of LED’s providing full coverage



LED Lights for a Triumph TR6

img_4055Today, I installed a long overdue improvement on bowtie6: a set of LED lights for a Triumph TR6.  The “kit” consists of all new 360 degree replacement LED bulbs.  This means, the new bulbs have diodes on all sides and give a much brighter beam compared to the traditional bulbs.

The advantage is obvious:  a much brighter indicator with little or no heat dissipation.  I’ve seen the effects of traditional bulbs on the TR6 tail light clusters:  damage can occur and this replacements are expensive.  The downside is this improvement is a little on the pricey side.  I’ll explain shortly…

img_4057This picture shows on the right, a traditional front side-marker light bulb as fitted to a 1971 Triumph TR6.  The bulb on the left is the LED replacement, with amber light emitting diodes.  Yes, the replacement bulbs are available in different colors depending upon their intended use.  As you can see, there are four diodes around each side and one on the tip.  This provides the 360 degree coverage.

All bulbs in the kit came individually and carefully packaged in a box.  Shipping was not too bad, however the kit was $125.00.  Yes, rather pricey but worth it.

img_4053By now you are asking for proof.  Well, take a look at the following pictures.  The first picture shows the “stock” front-side marker light:

img_4058Followed by this picture, showing the replacement LED bulb in action:

img_4059The difference is noticeable and I must say, the picture does no justice.  In person, the LED replacements are much brighter.

Moving along to the back of the car, this picture shows the new LED bulbs on the left and the traditional bulbs on the right:

img_4064The picture shows the red “running” lights and the white back-up lights in the “on” setting.  Each LED replacement is much brighter with a richer light beam and full coverage.  The amber turn signals are not “on” unfortunately, but believe me they are very bright now!

Here is a close-up of the rear running lights with the LED bulb on the left and the traditional bulb on the right:

Finally, if you decide on getting one of these LED kits let me save you some aggravation.  The manufacturer’s website has a mistake on the bulbs required.  The front turn signal bulbs need two “filaments”.  The website has the replacements are only one “filament”.  As a result, I will need to order the a pair of two “filament” amber bulbs.

Also, don’t forget the resistance of LED’s is different from tradition bulbs.  Therefore you must change the flasher to one compatible with LED bulbs.  Otherwise, the “blinking” won’t happen properly.

Here is the corrected list of bulbs if you wish to know:

  • 1156-A18-T in Amber – required 2 for the rear turn signals
  • 1157-R27-T in Red – required 2 for the rear running/brake lights
  • 1156-CW18-T in Cool White – required 2 for the rear backup lights
  • BA9S-RHP5 in Red – required 2 for the rear side marker lights
  • BA9S-AHP5 in Amber – required 2 for the front side marker lights
  • 1157-R27-T in Amber – required 2 for the front running/turn signal lights