Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I had some errands

to do during the past few weeks. I was going to continue with my "looking for new riding pants" saga but I am getting behind. Do you know that I have posts from last year not yet published, but it was so long ago I archived the photos. I am most positive you would have been interested to know about a conversation I had with an "instructor", which parallels motorcycling that you may not realize or even thought about, because I certainly didn't .

For now I'll turn back the clocks a couple of weeks and refer you to a post by absent-minded RichardM in Alaska who forgot to renew his driver's license. Anyway I got to thinking, so when I got home to check my license you wouldn't believe that . . . it was also expiring very soon. I am one who dislikes loose ends. When things break I have to have them fixed right away. So even though I had time to spare I went into panic mode and made a trip to our Motor vehicle office, which is run by our Insurance Corp of BC . Being a Government Agency, their hours of operations don't usually match times where customers can actually visit, but I was in luck to find their only office which opens Mall hours.

Agent: "That'll be $17.00 sir"

Me: "Only $17.00, what happened ? did you reduce your rates ?"

Agent: "No, the regular rate is $75. for a 5 year term. That's what I have to pay, but you are old so you get a discount. For you it is $17. for 5 years, Seniors get the reduced rate" (well, I made up that old part)

I have snow tires mounted on separate rims so I can change the wheels myself.


except for a little loss of air, after I changed the wheels over to summer tires I pump them back up to recommended pressures. I have never had a problem and I do the same routine every year. This year I developed a slow leak in my front tire. It was loosing 3 psi per day. I jacked the car up and inspected the tire carefully for punctures and couldn't find any problems. It bothered me so much that I had to bring it in to the place where I purchased these new Michellins last year


It was hard to find but eventually discovered it was a "bead" leak on the inner seal. They unmounted the tire and everything was clean, and the bead on the tire was "as new" with no imperfections. They put more rubber compound on the rim and remounted the tire. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what happened. I don't abuse tires and I have never "hit" a curb or anything like that, but then it occurred to me what happened, and it is certainly my fault. It's the way I hammer the tire to break the surface tension on the tire hub due to the torqued lug nuts.

When I first arrived at the tire shop they were busy with two other customers before me, so before they could fit me on the hoist I decided to walk down the block while I waited. I decided to carry my camera looking for photos when I came upon a shop with an interesting car. I know I shouldn't be poking my camera into a private shop, so I quickly took a few steps inside their repair facility and before I could snap the shutter, I heard a

voice shouting my direction: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE !!"

I didn't know whether to turn and run or hold my ground, so I looked at him and confidently said

Me: "That is a very nice car over there. Do you mind if I snap a photo of it ?" I blabbed some other jibberish about being in a car club and having sold my muscle car, and

HE said: "Come on it and take as many photos as you want. As a matter of fact I'll lower the hoist for you to get a better view"


Of course it was that RED Cobra high up on the hoist that caught my eye.

Soon enough he came over and lowered the hoist for me


I have always admired this particular model Cobra. My other dream car was the 356 Porsche Speedster.


this particular car has the 351 Ford engine and it looks very nice.


Of course these are all KIT cars as I don't think you could afford to buy an original one. After I snapped a few photos I left went up the street to look at some motorcycles and when I started to walk back to the tire shop I noticed a Barracuda across the street. A voice came from nowhere and

said: "That belongs to a customer of mine. Let me open the hood for you"

It was the same person from that repair shop. He must have been watching me walk down the street

Me: "Thank you, I used to have a 2 door hardtop, same colour, white with black vinyl top"


I think this is a rare car. They didn't make many Barracuda convertibles back then, and this had the 340ci engine, bucket seats with console


I can't seem to get that Cobra off my mind



  1. What a deal! So the government has declared you to be "old". How does that make you feel?

    Nice Cobra kit car. I also always like the Porsche 356. Must be an old persons car...

    1. Richard:

      I always had visions of building a Cobra, but as each year passes it looks less likely. I had a chance to buy one a long time ago from a desperate seller and I still think about it. For now it's bikes, and when I can't ride anymore --> back to convertibles

  2. Even if it is a kit car, that's a sweet little Cobra. I don't know anything about cars, but do know enough to realize a sweet-looking ride when I see one.

    Senior rates for licensing fees? I wonder if they have those here, too. I'm a few years away yet, but my Hubby may qualify. :-)

    1. Kathy:

      I still don't think of myself as a Senior, so it was great to get a lower price. Actually, Seniors also get discounts for autoInsurance, but not if you drive to work.

      I can't help myself, I am a sucker for nice cars and I often stop to snap a photo and often talk to their owners

  3. $17. for a driver's license? That's news to me. It's going to be close but I think I might get my next license at the cheaper rate.

    1. Wayne:

      It was a surprise to me when I had to pay. I know there are cheaper insurance rates for Seniors, but I have to stop working first before they will give it to me. I also get free banking fees at the TDCanadaTrust.

      You must be doing something right. You are younger & retired. I am still working. Have to do lunch again, we have been going to Steveston, not this weekend though

  4. Now you made me check my license. I'm good until August 2017. I think our licenses are good for 8 years every renewal. At least you got a discount. Getting older has to be good for something right?

    That kit Cobra is a stunner. Very flashy. Makes you wonder what the owner is like.

    Of course I am partial to the Barracuda

    1. Trobairtz:

      Everything is expiring. I have to renew my Passport but then I have to surrender it. I don't want to waste my summer waiting for the new one to arrive as then I can't cross the Border. With Nexus you still have to have your Passport available for "inspection". I will do it after the summer and hope I get it before the Seattle M/C show in December. Our passports are only good for 5 years, everyone else in the world is 10 years.

      A convertible would be a good option when you decide not to ride anymore. Same feeling of freedom without having to balance, or wear bulky riding gear.

      . . . if only back seats could talk, eh ?

  5. im getting mail from AARP already :( lol... oh well, maybe my mustang will be a cobra when it grows up :)

    1. Ms M:

      WHAT !! AARP !! You have been getting MY mail. Obviously you are too young to be on their mailing list. As per your last post, I am waiting for you to squeeze into your neopreme outfit and have on high heels the next time I see you. Being in CA you have options, how about a Saleen Mustang ?

    2. this muffin top would now be considered a souffle, aka indecent exposure!.. no neoprene other than on some gear at this stage :( lol...

    3. Ms M:

      substitute Latex for Neoprene,

      thanks, see you late July ?

  6. That's a great looking Cobra Bob, wonder how Gary will comment?


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    1. Dom:

      We used to have a Cobra replicar factory here, but out of business now, was called Cardiac Cobra, then they made Cardiac Miatas with 302 V8s. I went over to facilities in North Vancouver and checked them out.

      We also have a place which makes KIT Porsches, can't tell from original


      A few years ago I met the Owner and I could have bought one, but now they are too expensive. I have always liked the 356 Speedster, or "bathtub" models

  7. You and me both with the Cobra Bob! Given spare cash and time, it would either be a kit Cobra or GT 40, with a slight edge on the GT40. My driving license expires this year too and there's an obligatory eye test to go with it.

    1. Geoff:

      I had a friend who purchased an Original GT40. He also had a Viper, Prowler and a couple of H-D's. I think I would go for the 356 speedster. Over here, eye tests are done at random

  8. What are you doing taking pictures of my car!?!?

    The 'cuda reminds me of my first car...a 1963 Dodge Dart. Beautiful autos.

    1. Lori:

      My first car was a '56 Chevy 2 dr post model 210, 6 cyl 3 on the tree. Lovely to look at but I don't want it back, not unless it was a 2 dr HT belair

  9. The government considers you 'old' but you are amongst the working crowds. Something is wrong with that picture. The discount is nice however, although I hope that cost will significantly increase again the older one gets. I got almost wiped out by a blue haired lady today...

    The Cobra is a mighty sexy car. Are you going to trade it for your Vette?

    1. Sonja:

      what do you mean by raising fees as you get older ?? I will have limited income by then and need you to keep working to support "the system". Glad you are alright. The other day I was passing a truck on my right, on a 3 lane road. I was in lane 1, the slower truck was in lane 2. I then merged into Lane 2 in front of the truck, then from out of nowhere a car from lane 3 decides to "dart" into my lane (lane 2), without even looking in HER mirror. Tonight after work a miniVan with a lady driver was talking on her cell phone for a long time.

      I like to admire other cars but I am not in the market to buy another one.

    2. Oh Bob, I am aware that elderly are on fixed income, but some simply should not drive any more...

      Bad driving on the other side is not the elderly people's privilege as we are confronted with stupidity of all ages every day... glad nothing bad happened.

    3. Sonja:

      of course being on a bike you have more "road sense", by premonition you can usually spot the bad drivers just by their road position and lack of placement, and incorrect use of braking. The inattentive ones are probably on their cell phone. I try my best to keep away from them, or turn right and take another route.

  10. Bob, I used to lust after sports cars. Now I want something ugly and tough. Ideally a Land Rover 110, with a safari roof rack, spare tire on the hood, manual transmission and transfer case, maybe with a Ford small block diesel dropped in it, with massive off-road tires, some swiveling spot lights, and a hitch-type scooter carrier on the back. I'd settle for a four-door Jeep Wrangler in Black, or Desert Sand, with half-doors, and all the trimmings, though. So many toys! So little money! Sigh!

    1. David:

      I used to have a VW Westfalia. I loved it and would buy another one but I don't like the new EuroVan style and the older ones are too old to consider. I used to have a P-up truck and we went on many gravel roads. I also had a YJ jeep, raised, 31" tires with BFG all-terrain, half doors, bikini doors and top. I used to drive around with the DOORS OFF all the time.

      I guess you've been riding your petite Vespa for so long, that you need a monster truck to get rid of your frustrations.

  11. Ah, yes, the Senior Discounts. Heather doesn't like it when I get them. Me? I'm always glad to have get money off. And, I'm more the Jeep sort of guy than a sports car kind of guy. I agree with David, "So many toys! So little money! Sigh!"

    1. Keith:

      I used to have a Jeep, as noted above. I'm more into something that would use less fuel, but I can "average" my fleet mileage, at least that's what I like to believe. I was looking into buying another Jeep, that is until I looked at the EPA mileage rating.

  12. Love the car pics!
    I had a '69 Barracuda fast back. 383, 4spd. The rear seat folded down and left a HUGE carpeted 'cargo' area; something which, being a teenaged male, I thought could be a useful thing to have. But, unfortunatley it also had an almost as huge rear window directly above it......... *sigh*

    1. Ken:

      Your Barracuda must have been flying. That's a lot of power. My BIL had a Charger 440 magnum engine 2dr HT and it was fast. I also purchased a '67 Mustang convertible 289ci, auto back then, just a regular car with not much power.

      Too bad about the large rear fastback window, perhaps you should have gone for the Econoline Van

  13. What is it about the camera that drags us into places that people might not like us to shoot? I've missed some really nice shots out of being cautious. Ticks me off sometimes.

    How nice that Cobra would look in Highway 1.

    1. John:

      I used to do a lot of street photography, walking the lanes of the Downtown Eastside. The trick was to snap photos without looking like you are snapping photos. I'm not afraid to "ask" permission, or to boldly step forward . . .

      I've always like that Cobra but I guess it will never be. I still have my "vette as a fun summer car