Every now and then, I come across some new toy that I just *have* to have, as in, “Damn the expense, full speed ahead!”
Some time ago I was introduced to the Icon amphibian – a sweet little two-seater that you can fold up and pull behind your SUV or pickup on its own trailer. When I first learned about it, the price was going to be about $159,000. That has since gone up and they’re now quoting about $189,000 for a new one. And there aren’t any used ones yet, because they’ve only built two so far. But there are orders for about 1000 on their books, and the next available delivery date is sometime in 2018. I can get in line for a mere $5,000, and I’ll have three to four years to get my sport license and rob a bank – er, figure out how to pay for it.
The other day I found the perfect complement to the Icon. It’s a new, fast, versatile boat that can be a monohull, a catamaran, a trimaran, or a hydrofoil. It’s called a Kormaran, and it looks like a cross between a Jet-Ski and a Cigarette boat. It’s about 22 feet (7 meters) long and looks like it’ll go like a bat out of hell. It’s so new it doesn’t even *have* a price on the website – or else it’s in the category of “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” And it’s German. Looks like another bank robbery is in my future.
And then there are the toys that are *almost* reasonable in price – if only there weren’t so many of them! Case in point: Today I went to the Tucson Classics Car Show at The Gregory School here in town. Fall is the season for car shows here, now that the weather has turned from blisteringly hot to merely uncomfortable (remember to drink your water, boys and girls!). The show is in its eighth year, and it gets better every time I go. This year’s top raffle prize is a 2003 (50th-anniversary) Corvette, or $15,000 if you don’t want the car. (Who wouldn’t want the car???)
I took about 80 pictures at the show, and you can see the entire gallery here. I didn’t upload some of the photos I took because they were focused on how various car builders have solved (?) the problem of sticking big V8 engines with multiple accessories (alternator, power steering, smog pump, air conditioning compressor) into some pretty tight engine bays. Since I have a similar challenge with my Jeep, I’m always on the lookout for ideas I can use. But I digress. The whole gallery is on Flickr, but here are a few, just to whet your appetite:
1929 Cadillac dual-cowl (two windshields) phaeton. The driving lights turn with the steering wheel to light the curves.
Honda transverse-six. I don’t know what year this was made, but I remember the 750-4 that was an early “big” Honda, back in the ’70s. This is a successor to that line.
1949 Buick Roadmaster. Huge straight-8 engine, and the hood opens from either side – or, if you unlatched both sides, you could take it off completely. My Dad had a 1952 convertible that looked a lot like this car.
’55 Chevy Nomad. ‘Nuff said. (There was also a ’57 Nomad at the show.)
1980-something DeLorean – and I *just* gave away my last flux capacitor, too!
Custom rat-rod pickup … something. The interesting angle on this truck is that the builder took the *front* of a car and adapted it to be the *bed* of the pickup – which I think used to be a car of some kind. Definitely unique. I hope it’s back next year, all finished and painted.
And the Jeeps. You didn’t think I’d forget the Jeeps, did you? The foreground model is a 1948 (I think) CJ-2B that has been in the same family since it was bought new. It has the rear-mounted power-takeoff (PTO) setup, and the owner says he also has some of the farm implements that were available for it back in ’48. The military one in the background is an MB, complete with snorkel, all the tools (and rifle), and a matching trailer. I had to stay a foot away so I wouldn’t drool on them!
Of course, there were also the requisite Corvettes, Thunderbirds, and T-buckets, as well as Plymouth / Chrysler Prowlers, Cadillacs galore, Mustangs, and too many others to list. There were dealers there with some of their wares, including a 2014 Arctic White Corvette Stingray. (You may remember I mentioned this back in July, when I visited the Corvette Museum. I was pretty close on my price guesstimate of $75,000.)
Next year I hope to have my Jeep far enough along (like, done?…) so that I can enter it in the show. We’ll see.