Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mystery Flashlight Solved!

Thanks to intrepid readers smarter than myself, it appears the mystery flashlight is solved. We got the tip to search for "Taschenlampe" on ebay Germany. It is a police torch and the filters served some sort of practical, policing purpose. Check out those elegant filter sliders on either side of the lens. Fucking fancy. The police provenance answers why it is of such high quality, but the Buster Brown mystery remains.

The flashlight above is for sale on right now for 5 euros. Get a garage sale boardgame and make your own! But make sure to send me a photo and my royalty payment. I'm not picky, I collect most everything.

The Utility Aspect

Lots of activity at the Hooptyrides garage. For maximum protection, the prized 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 283 Stationwagon has been wrapped in a protective bubble boy of top quality plastic sheeting. The Chevelle is a solid number 3 car. A 15 footer. People who don't know anything about cars praise it, as it is chrome, red and white flashy like a firetruck and to be fair, it looks best when it is speeding by, like a firetruck.

Serious car people look down the long slab side and try to think of something nice to say as they consider the wavy bodywork and side window rust.

'Original hub caps, huh?' or 'Nice two spoke wood sport steering wheel', when people are complimenting your steering wheel, something has gone wrong.

But, when it is under plastic, at twilight, it could be a Concours quality restoration - though few cars at Pebble Beach have a 'Bowlers Have A Ball' license plate frame.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Another reasonably satisfied customer! The OC is no longer safe, as Kim is swarming and destroying at speeds approaching 30 MPH. Besides the Puch merits previously mentioned, we can report that the Puch fits handily in a Mazda MPV minivan (after the squeegee, wisk broom and second seat were stored.) As you can see, Kim has already found an alternate use for the replacement rear view mirror.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Ice Cream Truck For Sale!

Partial to the utility vehicle, I am particularly fond of the adapted to new use vehicle. Who knows what the original purpose of this stepvan was, but it is a good looking ride. I always thought this would be a practical way to go garage saling. Though there would be some delays, it would be a self-funded activity. Add to that the ease of access through the open door and you really have something.

Ad says price is negotiable, but where do you even start?

Absolutely exhilarating and terrifying at 28 MPH! The Puch!

Everybody has been asking... What's new with the Puch? Is it running? Are you riding? Crashing? Weeping?

In a word, WOW! What an exemplary machine. Though modest, it is delightfully Teutonic and over engineered. The Puch does not know and will not consider itself, 'just a moped'. 150 MPG, Austrian pedal motorcycle with headlight, tail light, brake light, reflectors for safety, emblazoned proudly 'Puch' in at least 20 places, the Puch makes no excuses.

I replaced the fuel petcock, the fuel line, added an inline fuel filter, replaced the carburator jet (there is only one) and vigorously flushed the fuel tank. It still stinks a little like bad gas and I would expect the inline fuel filter will need to be replaced semi-regularly. Also, the rear view mirror was broken, so I replaced that. And, the On/Off kill switch was broken beyond repair, so I replaced that was well. The Puch quality is never more apparant than when replacing components. The new On/Off switch works and will work for years, but what a miserable piece of junk. Just what you would expect from a Chinese import On/Off switch, which makes me wonder about the new Chinese mopeds.

The Puch runs like a damn dream. I have long espoused the merits of relative speed. Sure, a Geo Metro only gets up to 50mph but try driving it with cruise control set for 50 through a small downtown shopping district. And a golf cart may only reach 15 mph, but try the giant slalom in an underground garage. When you hit a parking stop at 15 mph, it feels plenty fast.

At 28 mph, the Puch handles capably and as it is supposed to, but it still scares the shit out of me. As I ride around my neighborhood, I feel like a really Easy Rider until I realize my feet are still on the pedals.

Swarm and Destroy!

What a great looking moped! The 1978 Puch Maxi-Luxe Hi Torque. 2-Stoke power means Hi Torque and honestly, who would want lo torque? Sissified sissies.

I am absolutely enamoured with the Moped Army. Their motto is Swarm and Destroy and following the absolutely undeserved Western Herald editorial slamming the Moped Army, I would suspect Mr. Peter Schinkai will soon be a) swarmed and b) destroyed. Lo Torque Mr. Schinkai.

I am selling the 1978 Puch Maxi-Luxe Hi Torque for $400. I am somewhat negotiable and trade for the all sorts of things.


- Runs very fantastic
- Very nicely cleaned up, comparatively
- Very very complete and original. On/Off switch, fuel petcock and rear view mirror replaced but originals (broken) included
- The tires are a little dry and probably need to be replaced soon. Plenty of tread but, for safety, they should be replaced
- Not perfectly clean, but pretty damn clean. I did not chrome polish the wheels between each spoke. This is a very intimate labor of love and is best left to the new owner. It would be presumptuous for me to be so familiar. Also, there are various odds and ends that could be cleaner. Should we strike a deal, come for an afternoon and I will provide all technical assistance and provide cleaning supplies (chrome polish, 0000 steel wool, LA's Awesome, etc.)
- Includes original manual and warranty and service book (purchased 5/17/79 from Moped Mania [they also sold Vespa, Motobecane and Batavus])
- Book carrier, reflectors, original seat with no rips or tears, beautiful cast aluminum Puch gas cap with built-in 2-cycle oil measuring cup, speedometer, full fenders, full suspension - front and rear, working lights, working horn, motor or pedal, about 1200 original miles, original California Bicycle Registration Permit stickers, classic Puch green and has never been crashed by sensitive poets.
- Some minor paint loss, here and there
- Some chrome pitting. I polished the chrome and it turned out great, but there is some residual pitting. Very presentable. As you are enjoying 150 mpg, you will learn to love the character. This is no Johnny Come Lately, this is a champion for the ages!
- Yes, that is a good looking dog in the background, but she is not available for purchase or trade. Notably absent, the little dog is scared to death of the moped.

All instructions necessary for successful operation helpfully printed on the moped at appropriate locations! Smart!

I get carried away when talking about the Puch. And my favorite feature is the built-in contingency plan. If you break down, you can pedal (albeit, laboriously) to your destination. To be fair, this is true of all mopeds. But, do they all look like the Puch at only $400? Puch green?

Do yourself a favor and be sure to check out the Moped Army race kick-off.