Saturday, October 13, 2018
which of course reminds me of the lyrics to "The Highwayman" with Cash, Jennings, Nelson, and Kristofferson
President McKinley’s Studebaker Phaeton
the Barouche that President Abraham Lincoln used the night of his assassination
President Grant’s Brewster Landau
President Benjamin Harrision’s Studebaker Brougham.
the original Bandit car, the car that started the whole Smokey and the Bandit phenomena has been found by accident by a Burt Reynolds hardcore fan, and verified by the Pontiac Oakland Club International, and Burt Reynolds himself
Back when they were plotting out the film, director Hal Needham and star Reynolds were trying to decide what car to cast as Reynolds’ ride. Several Detroit muscle cars were considered — until Needham and Reynolds saw the promotional brochure for the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am.
“I remember when Hal Needham and I first saw this car,” Reynolds says in a video as he sits next to the car when it visited his home. “It was love at first sight.”
To have the brochure ready for the launch of the 1977 model year, Pontiac took a ’76 Trans Am — one with a 455cid V8 and 4-speed transmission — and replaced its front end with the new ’77 design for the brochure photo shoot.
The car is now owned by an 85-year-old woman who had such a thing for Burt Reynolds that she sent her son on a quest to find her a car just like the one the handsome movie star had driven in the Smokey film.
“I looked for years and every lead was a dead end,” David Martino said. Undaunted, in 2014 he found a Bandit-style Trans Am, in Virginia, and bought it for his mother. It would be a few years later before he discovered the car’s actual history
The car’s authenticity has been collaborated with evidence from Pontiac Historic Services and from Smoke Signals, the official magazine of the Pontiac-Oakland Club International. The magazine reportedly had planned a one-page story on the car but, after a multi-month forensic study, ended up publishing an 8-page cover story on the car.
Such promotional vehicles usually are destroyed — crushed — and not offered for sale. But somehow, perhaps because the car was being used for promotional work on the West Coast, it ended up on the showroom floor of Bryant Pontiac, a California dealership, which eventually sold it as a demonstrator model, though not until the proper 1976 model year sheet metal was reinstalled.
Despite going to all that work, Smoke Signals reported that the ’77-model-year Snowflake wheels remained on the car
Nope, that is a Camry, Corrolla, Taurus, boring looking car if I ever seen one.
51 Mpg? Nice. Of course, cars HAVE been doing that for decades, like the GEO Metro.
Not that cars until now had 8 airbags, bluetooth, back up cameras, and XM radio... with AC, heated seats, and a big AV screen
On the other hand... a 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco, gets 42 freeway, with a turbo, and overdrive.
Why get a new Honda then, that only get 45 freeway, no turbo?
The way I see it, cars should get 50 mpg freeway, or 60... with turbo, and overdrive, 2 door. They should look a bit exciting, be more fun to drive than a Prius, and cost less than 25k.
But no one makes a basic commuter, 2 door, that's great at mpg, and is good looking, and a bit fun to drive (the acceleration of a turbo is a fun feeling, even if it takes a while in exchange for 5 times the gas mileage of a v8, at 1/4 the size engine displacement)
Why didn't the CR-Z (2010 -2016) get better than 36-39? It was even a stick shift!
The original 1988 CRX was 41-49mpg
Friday, October 12, 2018
In 1964 a Volkswagen Beetle was bought new to be stored in case the owner needed to replace his 59 bug, as he felt the 64 was the pinnacle of bug design. Now with just 23 miles on the odometer, it has hit the open market at the asking price of $1 million
Purchased new at a Vancouver, Washington, in 1964, the Beetle was originally owned by Rudy Zvarich. At the time, he owned a 1957 Beetle and specifically sought the ’64 model to serve as a replacement whenever his beloved car died. He was also worried Volkswagen would ruin the car in future iterations.
Zvarich was so dedicated to preserving the ’64 that he drove it home using a separate battery. The original dry charge system has never been used. The car has not been licensed and the windshield wipers and hubcaps have never been attached and are still in the original box.
It remained under cover, raised on blocks and drained of fluids in Zvarich’s garage until 2016. It ws inherited by his nephew who owns a classic BMW and Mercedes Benz shop in Portland Oregon
Until then, it's going to win awards at concours... because, it's still new. It's very doubtful anyone else will show up with a newer old car, or one restored that is better... than an unused original
this Electric 1908 Studebaker was called a “To and Fro” carry all, and was built for the US Government, to convey politicians via a tunnel between the Capitol building and the Senate Office Building.
there was also a yellow painted one, in use from 1909-1912
It might even be a dual wheelie bar and push bar set up
WTF of the month. James was at a gas station when a guy came up asked if to take a picture of his GTX.
James said yes and stepped out of view.
Well that same guy came up to him a year later bragging about his 69 GTX. He pulled up the picture of James' GTX on his phone.
NEWSFLASH While in Finland for a car show this past week, Gene slipped, fell, fractured a hip, had emergency hip surgery, got pneumonia in the hospital from being bed bound
So the doctors won’t let him fly home on a regular plane. He has a couple of months of recuperation ahead
The specialized medical transport plane required to bring him home safely costs approximately $150,000. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by his friends, to bring him home
press release in detail: https://www.jenkkiautonayttely.fi/l/gene-winfield/
Dick Harrell COPO 427 Camaro finally gets out of the garage... after 40 years of storage. The only 4 speed Harrell ever built... spent 90% of it's life so far in a garage not being used
and the kicker? The old guy who was "going to restore it someday"? Inherited it when his brother died in 1977. He just made a fortune for storing it for decades, darn shame he didn't enjoy driving it.
It amazes me to hear the owner say some nonsense like "I wasn't going to be able to finish it the fashion that I wanted to" when you can see that he's done zero with it in 40 years. That's a clear confusion on his part. When you haven't ever started, you're full of shit to say you aren't going to be able to finish it.
What's wrong with being honest and saying - I was too broke to buy parts or pay for a paint job, so I held onto it until I was offered the right price by a collector who is simply going to profit off it.
Funny how the 1972 Barracuda used the same stripe design.
wow, someone got innovative, and created a new mountain bike thing from an old pennyfarthing design because the UCI just released the 2019 rulebook allowing for mismatched wheel sizes in downhill racing
and it's all CGI by Guillaume Bout, after 10 years of experience in CG visualization on various subjects but mostly working on VVIP aircraft interiors for "high net worth individuals" and heads of state/governments, where he was in charge of turning the designer's blueprints into realistic 3D renderings so the client could see what his flying palace would be like. The panel of aircrafts he's worked on includes B747, B777, B787, B737, A340, A320, Global 5000, Falcon 7X, Falcon 2000.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Sy used to own Grand Prix Motors in East Rutherford NJ. He shut it down in the late 60's because Lotus would ship him new cars with used engines and it created quite a problem.
His father came over to America as in indentured servant.
He walked from Minsk to the seacoast when he was 15 and got passage on a boat courtesy of a tailor who paid his passage (which was $10).
He worked for him for a year, sleeping on the ironing board, in order to pay off the $10. (This was a common Russian Jewish immigrant story.) He worked for him for another year to earn $15 with which he bought a pushcart and went into business for himself.
Eventually he became very successful in the dress business and had his own firm, Wasserman and Kaback, making ladies' dresses. As he became more successful he moved up in the world, got married, had kids, and became one of the first Jewish families to move to Riverdale, N.Y.
When the time came his son, Sy, applied to NYU where he went into engineering and joined the Army ROTC in 1941. When he signed on, he was disappointed that his mother made him sell his Indian motorcycle.
Though his unit was activated, Sy was kept in school by the Army as they needed engineers. He was transferred regularly, starting at NYU, moving to Rutgers, the University of Illinois, etc. "The kids in the class just ahead of us were sent to work on the atomic bomb." Upon graduation, he received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from New York University in 1946
After the war ended Sy and his wife raced hydroplanes in upstate New York. These hydroplanes were very small, light , high performance watercraft not unlike a sports car for the water.
The first sports car race he entered was the 1953 Bridgehampton Road Race. This turned out to be the last year of the race through the streets of Bridgehampton--it was stopped on the 7th lap when Harry Gray flipped his Jaguar C-Type at the bridge.
In his early racing career, Sy raced almost every weekend, driving either midgets or sport scars. Gradually, it became obvious to Sy that the sports car racers earning the checkered flag were often driving Lotus cars.
Another of Sy's early cars (around 1954) was an HRG with a Buick engine which was an early version of the all aluminum engines. The HRG was a modern car styled after the classic pre-war sport scars. He had terrible crash in the HRG at Watertown, N.Y., his apparent injuries sufficient to prompt the officials to pronounce him dead at the scene. They even called his father to come and pick up the body! Needless to say, they were wrong. He had broken his nose, teeth, shoulder and three ribs, and punctured a lung. Sy made a quick recovery and was back at work within a week.
There is a lot more to his story, but I leave that to you to dive into if you wish. Around 1960 or 61 he formed Grand Prix Imported Cars in Rutherford NJ " hoping that it would underwrite some of my racing expenses. That did not work out. It was a secondary business as I was very busy with Weathermatic at the time. Absentee owners don't seem to profit much in the car business. I started it in 1961 and closed it in 1963. It was a headache which didn't provide any assistance to my racing career."
Sy goes on to explain the gentleman race driver's situation in the early 60's the end of an era in which any sports car racer of sufficient means could buy a competitive car, and mix it up with the best drivers and cars the world had to offer:
It might be interesting for you to know that when I was racing cars it was sort of the last period when an individual could decide to go racing. Everyone I knew who did this wound up "hocking the ranch" to do this. There were a lot of unhappy wives. And they didn't do it for long. But they could do it.
I'll leave you with this, he raced with/against, Mark Donohue, Stirling Moss, Mario Andretti,