Last Call: Bell Bottom Blues Edition

If you will recall, AMC’s “Levi’s Edition” models used the famous clothing maker’s signature material as an accent to the cars’ other textures. This hoity-paloity Vespa however, goes the whole nine yards with its denim coverings. And nine yards may have been what it took to cover it in its entirety. Kind of reminds me of a Tennessee Tuxedo.
Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day.  It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.
Image: Tom’s Travel

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22 responses to “Last Call: Bell Bottom Blues Edition”

  1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    For the record, the material in my 78 Levi’s Jeep was very far from the material used in their jeans.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Try wearing your seatbelt next time, Ivan Stewart.

      1. Alff Avatar


    1. ptschett Avatar

      It amuses me how many minivans have a name that associates to some degree with a long trip, distant place or method of making that trip. Honda Odyssey; Chevy Venture; Nissan Quest; Dodge Caravan; heck, Pontiac Montana (though getting there is just a boring run across the length of ND on I-94 for me.)

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        Montana was so dreary to cross — the only way to make 85-90mph (with bursts into triple digits to pass “slow” traffic) boring.
        But Glacier National Park on the western border? EVERYONE MUST GO.
        Glacier… just one of the dozen destination stickers I peeled and scraped from the rear window glass of the van as I cleaned it for sale.
        And now I’m verklempt — talk amongst yourselves.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar

      What? Haven’t noticed you’ve been shopping for something new. Or have you done that…gulp..quietly? This is the internet, we need to argue with your way of thinking and propose completely irrelevant flaming sports cars for your family needs.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        This is the missus’ car. It wasn’t so much shopping as “Find me a Pilot without too many miles and in our price range. EX-L or Touring — I want leather.” Found a steal (vs. the NADA value) on a 2014 Touring ’cause it had 100k already, meaning that $1k timing belt/tensioner/WP job was due. It’s immaculate, and I’m not scared of miles on a Honda in my care. We’re still out “ahead” vs NADA even after the pricey job. It had sat on the lot, and was at a Toyota lot, despite the fact that the same dealer network has Honda lots in the city. I went over every inch to point out every flaw, and gave her every reason to not buy, as that’s my job in this gig. Trans? Sorted by 2014, but I’m still going to keep to the 30k trans fluid routine. Oil? Gotta be full synth, because I don’t want this VCM-equipped engine to suffer premature death to save $10 every few months. Rear diff? Yeah, that’ll need its fluid changed soon, too, and it’s a completely new expense over the Ody.
        This is her fourth consecutive Honda. 1997 Civic LX, 2005 Accord EX-L, 2005 Odyssey EX, 2014 Pilot Touring. So, at this rate, I expect to be shopping for whatever Honda she wants in 2026-2027 or so.
        Consequently, with a car payment again, which conveniently matches my student loan payment, the Mercedes will not be replaced or appended to any time soon. I might not be car shopping again until my eldest is eligible to drive unattended in — holy hell — 5.5 years.
        Truth be told, I’m a little jealous, but that probably has to do with the fact that the Mercedes doesn’t currently have HVAC or a radio, and it needs new front wheel bearings, so it’s noisy as hell, uncomfortable in anything but 50-70F weather, and I have to listen to tunes streamed to a battery-powered bluetooth speaker sitting on my dash.
        Also, while I can manage traction in a car just fine, damn AWD is nice to have. I never have to worry about pulling out into traffic in the wet and having the TCS cut power, as I did in the Ody. The VTM-4 system is predictive as well as reactive, and when you boot it from a stop, the rear diff clutches snap to attention without waiting for any wheel spin from the fronties. Haven’t experienced it in snow yet, but we’re taking a road trip to Colorado and New Mexico in March that goes Pueblo > Pagosa Springs > Durango > Ouray > Santa Fe, so I’ll definitely get the opportunity to do so then if KC’s weather goddess decides no more snow this weird winter season. Everything I’ve read said it’s more surefooted than most other CUVs in the slick stuff.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          The Pilot’s not a bad choice at all – does it seat seven? Why no new Ody?
          I live a tiny settlement and going out on the main road, I have to accelerate hard from standstill. The Honda Stream I have has the worst forward traction of all cars I’ve owned, icy hills or even just a gravel grade can be a true skill challenge. So AWD suddenly sounds very tempting, even though I never thought I’d need it.

          1. Kiefmo Avatar

            The missus wanted a non-minivan. Absolutely zero reason to buy a new Ody if that was not the case. Ours had but 180k on the ticker and a ton of life left. We sold it for triple what we were offered in trade.
            In short, if we wanted a van, we’d have just kept the van and saved our money.
            The Pilot, despite being much smaller on the inside, actually has 8 seats. Those sitting rear most must be children if they’re going to do three across, though.

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    Seams legit.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Nope, it makes me yarn.

  3. spotarama Avatar

    moke also did the denim thing with the Californian, denim covered seats and a ‘denim’ vinyl roof

  4. jeepjeff Avatar

    Little Bike is back on the road. I nerfed the rear sprocket by 3 teeth so I not only got to change my first sprocket and chain set, I also got to figure out how much to shorten a chain by. It was a bit of a comedy of errors in sourcing parts and what-not.* But I got out for a ride today.
    Ok, so I also had to do the “neglected carburetor song-and-dance.” In this case, I put a bottle of seafoam in the tank for good measure. To get it running, I had to use my jump start battery and a spritz of non-chlorine brake cleaner in the intake to get it to turn over. Let it warm up for many minutes and it ran good when I went out. I probably need to tweak the idle screw out a bit, but it was good enough.
    The new gearing actually improved the bike a lot for the street. It was almost a 2 speed bike before, start it in 1, and you’d spend almost no time in 2 & 3, and you could rap out 4 a bit, or short shift to 5 at 25mph and not particularly experience different acceleration up to 40mph (where you’d start getting close to redline in 4). 5 would run out at 60mph, and you’d be pushing a little past redline at that point. Now, the gears are all a little longer, and actually useful! I’m not running around in 5 all the time, as 4 is a good cruising gear on surface streets. Also, I don’t think it’s noticeably slower getting up to speed. I already tended to flog it off the line, and now rather than shifting, I just spend a little more time in each gear, and forward motion is achieved with similar efficacy.
    It is probably slightly worse off-road, but again, not by much, really. I expect it’s still plenty fun in the dirt.
    So… Now that I’m back to having a bike I can just hop on and ride for day to day transportation, it’s time to rip into Big Bike!
    * For instance, I cut the first chain too short last week, and you don’t glue those back together, so I lengthened that one just to figure out a working length and then ordered another one, and cut it to the right length on the first try. I have a TIG setup now, so those chains are likely to become some kind of art or decorative touch on some project.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      On the carb, my 2003 TW200 had the pilot air screw set all the way down to the seat from the factory. That’s the one they put a little plug over because you’re not supposed to fuck with it. Not because they think you’ll damage the bike, but because setting that thing where the engineers intended it to be will increase the emissions, it’s set wrong from the factory by legislators, not the engineers.I highly recommend dicking with that screw. You can always put it back where it was.
      On the final drive, I can’t imagine gearing a TW up! Sure, they need it if you want to stay ahead of the Model Ts on the road, but does yours really deliver the power to push that setup? I’ve been afraid to try. (Maybe my previous owner geared mine down… he did drive a Toyota pickup with two (2) transfer cases in line.) First gear on mine never gets me further than the middle of the intersection, and seems like it’s there just to spin the motor up into the power band, and get you out of a slippery situation off road.
      On the chain cutting, British bikes sometimes came from the factory with an odd number of links, and one of them looked like this (they don’t make them in O-ring construction)

      1. jeepjeff Avatar

        Your 2003 would have been 14/50t from the factory. And that left first basically useless from the factory. I normally use it, but I know I’ve started in third on accident. I dropped 3 teeth off the rear sprocket and it was pretty good on its first outing. I have seen posts on the tdub forum talking about going the other way…
        I already removed the plug, so I just have to put a screwdriver on it. I will probably do that today. Count turns until it’s seated (possibly zero), then back it out by halfsies or quarters until it idles nicely when just a little cold.

      2. jeepjeff Avatar

        And finally dicked with the idle mix screw. And it starts way easier now. I’ve got some more playing to do, but it was in the same place as yours, all the way in. It idles a little high when warm, so I may back it off a little more, and see how she does. Stupid EPA plug.
        EDIT: Other fun observation: the mid and top end tune really depends on the engine warming up and presumably soaking heat into the intake. If I get it started with the choke and then open it up before it gets warm enough, it will just die. So no playing the rev-rev-warm-up-faster game on cold nights.

        1. Batshitbox Avatar

          Yeah, mine’s cold blooded, too. I can start, idle and drive on the first choke notch, but it takes a while before it will idle high enough without choke. I had the high idle coupled with a hanging throttle (no engine braking) but I just backed the idle stop down. (Why is it on a cable from the other side of the carb? Had to lube that arrangement up.)
          I haven’t followed the whole process outlined on the TW200 forum, with the needle shims and all, but I did put a 130 jet in there when I rebuilt, because someone took the guts out of my exhaust can. Maybe I should look at my spark plug and see if it’s rich or lean.

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    Norway’s road authority has picked the “most beautiful road of the country” for 2016. They went with a newly upgraded road far up in the North. In order to avoid guard rails, which picked up snow in the winter, the entire road was lifted. Picks and map look promising, too. Some of the photos:

    1. gerberbaby Avatar

      I like your pic from the other day with the mountains and gorgeous blue sky.. It’s the lock screen wallpaper on my phone now. So I can celebrate winter without looking like I actually have to deal with it. Which is a nice departure from reality.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Wow, that’s nice! You grew up in a snowy area? I’m sort of missing the daily exercise that comes with it, with our long driveway. :S