Archive for the ‘Asphault Adventures’ Category


Sandy had her first day out since she fell victim to Hurricane Sandy. She attended an important local car show to help celebrate the life of departed friend Roy Jones.  Roy was a huge fan of classic cars and an avid supporter of charity car shows put on by Georgia Cool Cruisers and other local car clubs. In the years he owned Galaxy Diner, Roy hosted dozens of shows supporting many great charities. Today’s memorial show celebrated Roy’s memory and continues the legacy of charity and community Roy left behind. Today’s show also was a fundraiser for two of Roy’s favorite charities — Fisher House and Toys For Tots. Preliminary numbers are that over $1,200 was raised for Fisher House and more than 200 toys collected for Toys For Tots.

Sandy performed admirably, traveling the eight miles to the show and four of the eight miles home under her own power. This may not sound all that impressive, but it is important to keep in mind that since the hurricane and prior to this morning, the car has been driven around the block once at Asphault Adventures‘ New Jersey headquarters and once at Crash’s Atlanta pad. That’s it.

Sandy now has headlights (low beams only, direct wired through a toggle switch), parking lights, turn signals, and brake lights via a manual (literally – hand operated) switch, all via homemade wiring and a 6-circuit fuse block. The run around the block yesterday and the drive today suggest that the carburetor is in dire need of a rebuild, that first and second gears are on their last legs, the brakes need some serious adjustment, and that the front tires need some spacing as they are rubbing against the inner fenders in 90-degree and tighter turns.

The most immediate problem, however, is that the electric fuel pump (which Crash insisted on mounting near the engine rather than at the fuel tank – yes, Jim, you were right!) overheats and stops delivering fuel to the carburetor. The fuel pump gave out just as Sandy arrived at the show this morning (phew!) but gave up the ghost halfway home – at the worst possible intersection. It could have gotten ugly except for the flatbed tow truck that happened by, and the very kind driver who was happy to give Sandy a lift the rest of the way home. (Atlanta THOTC fans, please call Ken Kianpour of Red Ivey’s Express Towing for all your towing needs at 404-325-5192 — definitely a friend of banger cars and those who drive them.)

Next up will be mounting a new electric fuel pump at the tank where it should have gone in the first place, replacing the broken mechanical fuel pump to provide a backup, and doing a drain-and-fill on the transmission to see if it helps eke a little more life out of first and second gear.

Please look for photos of some of the absolutely awesome cars keeping Sandy company at the show in a subsequent post.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Read Full Post »


Resurrecting Sandy, a 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook that drowned in Hurricane Sandy, has proven to be the Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse’s biggest challenge yet. That is saying a lot for a team that has brought a $150 1989 Dodge Shadow, a $200 1973 Plymouth Valiant, and a $300 1969 Dodge Dart Custom back to life from under tarps and woodpiles and abandoned behind barns for glorious 3,000-mile journeys to raise over $12,000 for charity over the course of five rallies in five years.

Sandy was on her way to the crusher when a friend of Team Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse (Jim Thwaite of Asphault Adventures) rescued her, knowing Crash and Burn would want to get this unusual classic back on the road and competing in rallies to raise money for charity. Jim not only rescued the car, but hosted it in his garage and did the lion’s share of the work to get the car running and ready for transport to Crash’s pad in Atlanta.

After spending days submerged in water above the dashboard during Hurricane Sandy and a year rusting after the floodwaters receded, the car was a total loss. Water had seeped into the engine and transmission leaving them unsalvageable – discovered only after weeks of effort to restore them believing they had been pickled before the storm. The drivetrain ultimately was replaced with “leftovers” from the hot rod conversion of a 1949 Dodge sold to the team for the scrap value of the metal. The gas tank, differential, and radiator took in some water as well, but ultimately would be saved after the investment of hours of effort to recondition them. The entire ignition system was destroyed by corrosion and rust and had to be rebuilt from scratch – a custom-wired 12v ignition circuit based on 1970s Ford F-100 parts. A one-wire GM alternator was installed using a bracket custom-made by Jim to provide charging.

Two years to the day since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey, the Cranbrook has been transported from Jim’s garage in New Jersey to Crash’s garage in Atlanta, and the second phase of Sandy’s restoration to the road will begin over the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • The rest of the electrical system, from the switches to the bulb bases, was a total loss as well. A decision has been made to rewire the car using a 12v hot-rod wiring harness and fusebox. This conversion isn’t yet complete and some challenges remain with finding replacements for the 6v blower motor, horn, and windshield wiper motor that also were destroyed by the storm waters. The entire dash cluster was submerged and was corroded beyond repair.
  • A replacement dash cluster has been obtained but hasn’t yet been installed, and several of the gauges may not be compatible due to minor differences between sensors and outputs on the 1949 versus 1952 engine and transmission. The team is debating whether a digital dashboard using an Android tablet and new wireless sensors may be a future project and a way to extend the life of this classic Plymouth.
  • The brakes and wheel bearings were a total loss as well, and everything except the master brake cylinder has been replaced. For safety’s sake, a rebuild or replacement of the master cylinder is in order.
  • The 1949 transmission appears to have some 1st gear issues and likely will need to be rebuilt or replaced.
  • The differential (a seemingly never-ending Achilles’ Heel for the team’s rally cars) needs to be gone through as it took on water in the flood, and a rebuild or replacement may be necessary.
  • The steering and suspension need to be gone through, and some replacement of bushings and bearings likely will be required.

It may take a while but Sandy will drive again. Assuming all goes well, Sandy’s first rally is targeted to be Asphault Adventures’ West Virginia to Key West Rally in May/June 2015.

Please look for updates on Sandy’s restoration on Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse’s Facebook page and here on the team’s website (www.thotc.com) for updates.

Thanks for reading, and see you on the road!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

Thanks to Jim Thwaite at Asphault Adventures, Sandy’s seized engine has been set free! It is too early to call the patient cured, but hopes (and pulse rates) are running high. A new head gasket will be applied shortly to facilitate a more complete diagnosis of the patient.

Stay tuned for Episode Seven – With The Turn Of A Key…


Read Full Post »


Read Full Post »

Party is out back of the hotel… where it is quiet like. And no, that is NOT Arizona Iced Tea in that jug! 🙂

20130927 172324

20130927 172324

Read Full Post »



Crash and Dodge had a long but productive day, traveling the 610 miles from Crash’s Atlanta headquarters to Martinsville, West Virginia over twelve hours. Both Crash and Dodge are tucked in for the night. Tomorrow morning, Dodge will accompany Crash to one of his consulting clients in Princeton, New Jersey where some hours will be billed on Day -1 and Day 0 to subsidize the costs of the trip and help feed Dodge’s petroleum habit — the car got 15.1 MPG today and guzzled a quart of oil every 300 miles!

Stay tuned — the 2013 Explore The Shore Rally is just around the corner!

If you haven’t already, please visit the Pledge page on our website to pledge your support for Hot Rodders Children’s Charity and Toys For Tots — the two very worthy charities the team is supporting in 2013.

Read Full Post »

Crash's Folly


There is a wrinkle to THOTC’s participation in the 2013 Explore The Shore Rally. The original plan was for Burn to fly down to Atlanta and for Crash and Burn to share the 850 mile drive to the starting line in northern New Jersey. However, this will not be possible due to Burn’s knee injury and surgery earlier in the year. The team’s backup plan was to have Crash fly to Albany and for the team to drive the rally in Burn’s daily driver in the Open class instead of running Dodge in the Banger class.

That backup plan hasn’t been sitting well with the team for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that the original plan *also* called for Dodge to go home to Albany with Burn and begin a well-deserved restoration.

Crash spent a day getting Dodge ready for the road before the Georgia Cool Cruisers Cruise-In and was pleasantly surprised at how well the car did after sitting for a few months after the last BABE Rally. There are a few small issues — a power steering pump hemorrhaging fluid with every turn of the wheel, a more-gradual-but-equally-concerning disappearance of motor oil and transmission fluid, brake lights that turn themselves on at random when parked, a brake shoe that has gotten a little too snuggly with its drum, and so forth — but nothing that would physically prevent Crash jumping in Dodge and starting to drive north.

And so, with the same reckless abandon and disregard for personal safety and sanity that got Crash and Burn into banger rallying in the first place, Crash will be driving Dodge solo to the starting line. As Crash has now booked a one-way ticket back to Atlanta from Albany for the Monday after the rally, he is committed — and probably should be.

Watch for updates on www.thotc.com as Crash finishes preparations for his folly and strikes out on his Kerouac-esque (sans the drug use, of course) journey up the Eastern seaboard for the wilds of Northern New Jersey!

If you haven’t already, please visit the Pledge page and pledge your support for the two great charities THOTC is supporting in the 2013 Explore The Shore Rally — Hot Rodders Children’s Charity and Toys For Tots.

Read Full Post »

ETS2013 Logo

Asphault Adventures has announced its first-ever rally — Explore the Shore 2013 — and THOTC will be there!

The Explore the Shore rally will take participants on an adventure along the NJ Coast starting in North Jersey and ending with a great after-party and awards ceremony at Coconut Cove in Wildwood NJ.

So, what’s this all about then? Simple load up your car with a spouse, partner, friend, abductee and meet us at the start to receive your challenge. You will be going on a statewide scavenger hunt to find interesting places and things and score points for your efforts. Silly prizes (and perhaps some not so silly) will be awarded in many categories. But more importantly get to meet interesting people, make new friends, and just plain have some fun.

About that car – You can join in one of our 3 classes of competition:

Open class – Bring what you want, your daily driver, your fully restored Aston Martin, a rental car, it’s really up to you.

Beater/Banger class – this is where the ~really~ interesting people hang out. This class is for cars of an, um, less pristine caliber. Bangers, beaters, crapheaps, whatever you call it this is the place for it. If you’re a little afraid to drive it, and fairly certain it won’t make the finish line this one’s for you. If you have AAA on speed dial, step on inside. For full details on the requirements for this class please see the Vehicle Classification section on our website.

Motorcycle class – Just like the banger class but on 2 wheels. If you want to bring a nice motorcycle, just choose open class.

Themes/Costumes – not mandatory on this event but we appreciate the offbeat and the attention-seeking and have been known to asses some bonus points for those that really impress us. Dress up yourselves, dress up your car, and let your freak flag fly!

Entry/Fees: Apply for entry by submitting the entry form, available at http://www.asphaultadventures.com/Registration.doc We’d love to admit everyone but we have limited space so impress us with your app and apply early for your best chances. Upon acceptance you will need to pay up, $70 gets you a team of 2 with $25 for each additional member (up to 4) or $15 for children under 12. For your fees each team member receives an event t-shirt, and a 2 hour paid buffet at the Coconut Cove closing party (drinks are not included but there will be a cash bar).

Where to stay? As this is a one day event you will not need to overnight anywhere but as it is an early start some people may wish to be near the start on the 27th, we will be making arrangements with a hotel in that area and this information will be included in your welcome pack once your entry is paid. We will not be making arrangements for the close but do hope you will consider staying the night in Wildwood, NJ and enjoying all this great city by the sea has to offer. We can offer recommendations if needed.

Anything else I should know? Yes, you will, at a minimum, need a cell phone capable of emailing or texting a photo (email preferred). Ideally you will have a smartphone with Android 3.0 or better or iOS 5.0 if you are of that inclination. If you have none of the above we will provide a paper version of the challenges but you will be extremely disadvantaged on one of the challenges. Future events will be going all-smartphone, but we will try to accommodate teams as long as we can.

Questions? Email jim@asphaultadventures.com or send us a note on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AsphaultAdventures

Read Full Post »

ETS2013 - It Begins

From the darkness rises a new flaming beacon for fans of banger/beater/crapcan rallies everywhere — Asphault Adventures!  They have announced their inaguaral event, a one-day trip into the madness that is the state of New Jersey – Explore the Shore 2013! Those who survive will be changed forever. Those who win will become the stuff of legend. And THOTC will be there!

Follow along as we prepare Dodge for a record-setting (for THOTC, anyway) third consecutive rally run on the way to his new home in Burn’s swanky New York garage. Even better, participate in the event! Asphault Adventures is making it easier than ever by offering not only the traditional banger/beater class, but a “Drive What You Bring” open class and a class for motorcycles too! To secure your own ticket into the annals of history, visit the Explore the Shore 2013 event page on Facebook and sign up today!

As always the team will be supporting two eminently worthy charities — Toys for Tots and Hot Rodders Children’s Charity. Please pledge your support today!

Read Full Post »