Saturday, April 21, 2007

32:07 the movie. This one is for Doug.

Great movie.

If you've followed lists of racing movies, you know, things like Gran Prix, Le Mans, etc... then you'll like this.

If you've enjoyed movies like Cannonball Run, you'll love it!

A documentary made out of friendship, loyalty, and respect... 32:07 eclipses the "documentary" style film making (dull, poor editing  lousy music) and catches the excitement and passion of the drivers of the real Cannonball Runs of the 1970's, and the US Express of the 80's, and adds the logistics and planning of a New York to LA run,  but also includes the film making from inside the car.

The first half is very cool,  leading up to the reason for the film maker - Cory Welles - had for giving the history of the runs in the recent past (the 100 year ago reasons of vehicle proving endurance exploits are long gone) and Cory nails it.

Why did the Cannnonball Run drivers risk jail, tickets, car accidents, and everything that can go wrong for 2700 miles? This movie fills you in, and resets your memory of what the 70's loose free life was for endurance thrills like driving from the East coast tot he West coast. We Americans used to have fun doing things like that, and that is at the core of the name "Cannonball Run" because it was named for Cannonball Baker who would try to set new records for getting his motorcycle from coast to coast in the 1930's.

Cory has also set her movie pacing in more than just documenting the event she participates in as a filmmaker, she knows what she is doing... she hooks your interest, fills your resulting curiosity about if the 32 hour and 7 minute record that was set in 1983 can be broken, and provoked me to think about the many facets of accomplishing such a bucket list life event.

How was it that the 1971 and 70's Cannonballers were able to pull off the race in basically the times as todays cars, without the onboard computers, without the GPS point by point mapping, without the radar detectors/jammers and without mobile internet, updated weather reports, traffic reports, construction calendars, without modern high perf radial / all weather / rain handling tires, without the fuel injected modern engines and all wheel Brembo braked traction assisted suspension?

Dan Gurney (you know, expert race car driver) was on the Cannonball winning team of 1971, and made it in 365 hours. Only 4 hours more than the 1983 winners. The 1983 winners are of course not in Dan's level of virtuoso high speed driving and racing decision making abilities, so how did they not get farther ahead of his time with all the advantages of 12 years of car technology?

This movie got me thinking about it, and you will likely be as engrossed in the questions I raised as much as I am.

They get answered while watching. Yes. You'll have to work out some, but this movie is the key to delving into the roughly 32 hours on the freeways coping techniques that all the drivers and teams have had to figure out. Vans, Rvs, race cars, sports cars, bikes, and trucks have all made the trek, but 32:07 was the record that stood from 1983, and when the interviewed teams and drivers tell you that it wasn't possible (it was, it did happen, that is a fact - not a result of a cheat) and some are positively hating the driving team that did it in a 308 Ferrari for never wavering from the story of how they did it.

See, you have to average about 90 miles an hour, for about 32 hours, no matter what happens. Fuel stops, food, bathroom breaks, police, toll booth stops, tires, construction, snow or rain on the roads... all of the obstacles and delays that happen can't change that to make the run in 32 hours, you've got to go much faster than 90 miles an hour to offset the stops, delays, and slow driving that will occur.

So when Cory made it her mission to prove that a family friend did the record with integrity, she went all the way to making a run happen.

You've maybe heard about Alex Roy, and how he outfitted a BMW M5 for Gumball Rally racing, both in America and Europe, it was all over the news about 5 or 6 years ago. Night vison, radar detectors, police scanners, radar jammers, and all the rest.

Well, when he got involved with the movie, as an investor, he became curious, and one thing led to another, and then Cory realized that her movie, his experience, and together they could accomplish the monumental task of proving the 32:07 wasn't less than, but damn near a perfect run, and finally have evidence to squash all the detractors, haters, and naysayers.

In conclusion, best movie about racing you'll see this year, or next. Senna was good, but that was last year. (For me anyway)

If you have a movie shelf in the garage for racing movies, 32:07 has earned a place beside the best. Not a Hollywood production, no stars, no movie studio pulling the strings and censoring the rare occasional swear (I like that bit of realism), and no execs to steer it to one thing or another. Like "Boys of Bonneville" and "Vintage Racing Today"   this is a terrific racing movie, and similarly it exposes a perspective of the car enthusiast that other movies haven't.

Fathers day is coming up, so are birthdays, and lucky for us Cory made a great movie to make gift giving a snap.

The Wikipedia entry about the Cannonball Baker trophy dash can explain much more about the race history.

The "Wired" magazine article link here

I bet you've no idea what this car is. . . the answer is in the next posting

You can see the similarity to the 69 Mustang, in the grill and headlights, and the chrome bumpers place it in the 68-72 era, but that's all I could get from the looks of it. It's not right hand drive, so it might be American, side marker lights and under the bumper turn signals also indicate late 60's early 70's.
I found it in the movie Lies and Alibies, with Rebecca Romjin... and nothing seems to be written on it to denote the maker, or the model. Enjoy.

A little bit about Aston Martins

Named for a famous (at the time) hill climb race (think Pike's Peak) the Aston Hill Climb.
Keep in mind that this was around 1913. Vehicles were still so fundamental and unproven that sales were largely due to winning endurance races, races set up by the rich, for other rich people to participate in and have fun with, and the cars were just a tool to gain bragging rights among the elite circles.. .. in America it was Vanderbilts and so on... as only the fabulously wealthy could afford such toys.

So named partly for the hill climbing race, and partly for one of the two founding fathers Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The two had partnered up to sell and service cars by Singer, GMK, and Calthorpe. Their first Aston Martin was made in 1915, but never got into production due to WW1. Incidentally stopping the car making before it got off the ground, and ironically, then all the manufacturing machinery was sold to Sopwith Aviation Company (who are well known for Snoopy's famous Sopwith Camel), and a fine airplane it was.

After the close of WW1, the company went back in business, setting speed and endurance records, but with very limited production, and rich enough buyers in post WW1 England, it went bankrupt in 1924, and 1925.

Bamford left in 1920, Martin in 1926.

In 1947 David Brown bought the company, and there-after the models were named DB this and DB that. Yeah, I didn't know that either. Huh. Trivia, cool stuff. In 1972 it was again in financial woes, and sold of to financiers who intended to profit... yeah, right.

It was sold time and again, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, and in 1987 a coincidental meeting between a financier owner and a friend of his at Ford England, brought up the brilliant idea of Ford buying 75% of the eternally struggling company, and so it passed to Ford's majority ownership , which became total when the last 25% was acquired from Victor Gauntlett, the chairman at the 1987 to 1993 era.

Now at 100% ownership, Ford ramped up investment, manufacturing, and production. Keep in mind that Ford owned Jaguar as well, and the experience of all the techs, engineers, and management came into fruition to make both Aston Martin and Jaguar and Ford do very well in the competitive world of high tech, high speed, high value, high profitability luxury cars.

Ford found that losing all the automobile business to rivals GM and Toyota was putting it in the red, and sold a majority share of Aston Martin in March 2007, to a financial consortium of 2 Kuwaiti investment companies and a Aston Martin collector, and the chairman of Prodrive... a racing orientated company that in heavily involved in the World Rally Championship, other rally races, and touring car races.

So why all my sudden interest? A very awesome new magazine called Octane had a marvelous feature on Aston Martins.

Other info from

Answer to the previous posting "What is it?" 1978 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Things that make you wonder "What if?" Vince finds all sorts of cool stuff, and always is on the latest concept of new released cars from all over the world. This is a Fiat 500 mergered with a Porche.

Volvo trivia... huh!

1971 Volvo P1800 ES

In an interesting historical note, this car competes in British car events - the reason being that though Volvo is a Swedish company, these cars were built in Scotland.

Wrong Tool Workshop

A proud tradition since 1973, the Big Macho Wankers have never let a lack of training, tools, or talent stand in the way of their quest to keep fine Bavarian autos in top shape. Whether it is tin cans and radiator clamps to fix an exhaust, to cold chisels and hammers to remove nuts, the Wankers keep 'em rolling. Usually.
The Wrong Tool Workshop embraces the philosophy that any alleged BMW enthusiast who doesn't know what a guibo is should have his BMW taken away. We also believe that there are few things that can't be fixed with proper hammers or the Mighty 8" Bahco 31, God's Own Wrench. Between them, The Bubba Brothers, Earl & Mojo, have been keeping 2002s alive for over 53 years, rarely with the right tools.

I love these guys! Mucho respect for a terrific sense of humor and great website. You will too, especially never forgetting the BMW Special Tool #1

It's Earthweek, and celebrating the natural resources is paramount, so...

has a hilarious entry about a 440 powered Satellite with "Keisler 5-Speed manual that dumps into a set of 3:55 gears. Edelbrock intake and heads coupled with a Demon carburetor and Keith Black pistons ensure the Earth’s precious fossil fuels are burned at a prodigious rate. Quicker than the Arabs can pump it out of the ground"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

International Automotive Media Awards winners for 2006

16th International Automotive Media Competition announces 2006 International Automotive Media Awards (IAMAs)
Jim Dunne and Jean Jennings take top honors

Veteran auto writer/spy photographer Jim Dunne is the 2006 recipient of the International Automotive Media Award for Lifetime Achievement. ( Brock Yates, Car and Driver, won in 2002 )
Dunne has been Detroit Editor of Popular Mechanics for the past 21 years. His career began with a column for national magazines in the mid-1960s, which continues today.
Jim’s reputation nowadays is equally based on being one of the pioneers in so-called spy photography. As photographer or writer, he travels extensively.
In addition to all the above--auto writing, photography and travel, together with an active sports life--Jim Dunne is a safety device inventor/patent holder, and fit in a stint as technical writer for Redstone Missile.
A native Detroiter, Dunne is a graduate of the University of Detroit and a U.S. Army veteran. He has seven grown children, and lives now in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

Some things that stood out in a couple catagories

A-6, History: General
“Hot Rod & Custom Chronicle,” by Thom Taylor, Gold to Publications International, Ltd.
“Muscle Car,” publishing by KP Books, Gold to John Gunnell
“Muscle: America’s Legendary Performance Cars,” published by MBI, Gold to Randy Leffingwell and Darwin Holmstrom

A-7, History: Single Marque or Manufacturer
“Cobra: The First Forty Years,” published by MBI, Gold to Trevor Legate

A-18, Collector Vehicles
“The Cobra in the Barn,” published by MBI, Bronze to Tom Cotter

E-5, History: Motorsport
“When Giants Raced, parts 1-3,” Bronze to Hal Crocker/Vintage Motorsport Inc.

F-40, Design: Total Publication
Motor Trend Classic, March/April 2006, Gold to Motor Trend Classic (which was killed by Motor Trend) (bastards)

M-28, Intro of New Models
“Design Perspectives—Bring Back the Challenger,” on Motor Trend Radio, Gold to Bob Long

Metallica musicians are hot rodders. Updated Feb 13th 2012

Above at the 2012 Grand National Roadster Show, built by Rick Dore

Above images from

For the full gallery: for the Grand National Roadster Show gallery, and for the SEMA gallery of the same Auburn:

James Hetfield (also a member of the Beatniks car club) had a cool customized 53 Buick Skylark (named Skyscraper) at the Grand National Roadster Show (formerly the Oakland Roadster show), and won the Most Elegant Custom at the San Fran Custom Show and Kirk Hammet had his 36 Ford GNRS too, and they were both pictured in Street Rodder magazine.

James Hetfield's Buick showed up in Street Rod Builder magazine, April 2007, page 67 for the overall magazine

Kirk's 36 here

James also has a few that show up on a 36 black Ford

The Rodders Journal had an article too, if I come up with a link or pic I'll put it here for several pics of JH's '36, his under-construction truck a '56 F100 custom by Blue Collar Customs of Sacramento

You might also like the racing in their video "Fuel"

Monday, April 16, 2007

1977 factory stock Dodge Aspen was faster than the Corvette, the Trans Am, the Camaro

The Aspen/Volare twins were light enough that with certain engines, they were rather potent--tests from car magazines of the day revealed that the 1977 360-engined Aspen, with a two barrel carb, was about on a par from zero to sixty miles per hour as the 1977 Camaro Z28 and Corvette L82, both with four barrel 350s.

All three of these cars were faster than the 1977 Trans Am 400-4.

The Aspen was a bit slower by the clock but faster through the traps in the quarter mile than all of the other three from GM.

The 318 offered more sedate, everyday performance. It was obviously less powerful, but it performed about the same as its competing models with similar-sized engines of the day.

Muscle cars needed for a movie trailer

I am getting ready to shoot a trailer for a movie. I need four cars from the 60's.

If you or anyone you know are still interested, please let me know.

Thank you.


760-390-5975 cell
760-724-2670 work e-mail

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Not just a transmission mechanic, Don's GN is around the 9's in the 1/4

DRW Transmission Specialties, Inc.
10728 Kenney St. Ste. B, Santee, CA 92071
Office phone: (619) 258-4240

Bikes among the booths, the 2nd has a 4 barrel supercharger

Among the booths at the Hot Rod and Bike Expo, Qualcomm stadium

The Motley Crue chopper

Gauges and radios

2007 True Line car show

Within a mile of my garage

this Chevelle Malibu, and after the link, a Ford Galaxie 5oo, plus a 69 Dart GTS