Saturday, August 04, 2012

Barnfind Ferrari 250 GTE

learned about from

Take for example, the case of film director Agostino “Dino” De Laurentiis’ Ferrari 250 GTE which was just expertly sold by Bonhams at its Monaco auction held just last month. This was at one time a beautiful automobile, resplendant in metallic silver paint over red leather, with a screaming 3.0-liter Ferrari V-12 up front and gleaming Borrani wire wheels on its suspension. The car has been sitting for decades, but appeared very complete and whole, which adds considerable to its value and appeal.

 Bonhams sold the car for about $163,000, and it will take every penny of $100,000 to restore it properly and make it once again the beautiful automobile it deserves to be. When completed, it’ll probably be worth about that same $100,000, perhaps a little more, placing, for the moment, no value on its celbrity ownership. Hmmmm….unless I were the late director’s close relative, I’m not sure having his $100,000 car would be worth $263,000 to me.

Celebrating the barn finds and deploring the yard art of idiots that proclaim "I'm gonna fix it up someday, it's not for sale"

64 vette in a container

pace car 69 Camaro

R code 63 1/2 Galaxie

GTO Judge if you look close at the beltline, you'll see the unique stripes


GSX with the 455

 57 Fuelie convertible, guy was getting all the stuff to restore it when he died... wife sold it to a friend

 69 396 RS SS

1969 JL8 Z28

63 1/2 R code, factory dual quad that RJ Reynolds Tobacco bought and campaigned for 2 years.

70 440 6 pack shaker hood

 Barracuda, but maybe not the AAR the stripes indicate, or the hood is wrong

A real AAR Cuda, likely was stolen, striped, and dumped way out here in the woods

69 Coronet R/T.. the only R/T that did not have a model name on the outside of the car

 67 Meyers Manx abandoned for decades out in East Texas

63 split window

sweet GTO got flipped and left for dead.


 Road Runner
 factory 429 Country Squire in an airplane hanger


LS6 454 70 Chevelle with a factory 4 speed

 69 396 Camaro with a 4 speed

1957 Tbird. Rotting away in the loam.

 above, Road Runner left for dead in a gulch, looks like floods have buried it

where in contrast, this pile of cars was deliberately piled on the shore of Lake Michigan to create a erosion control dam/levy. Hard to comprehend that polluting the lake wasn't obvious by leaving old cars to leak oil, grease, rust, lead, solder, etc etc into the lake waters. I bet that junkyard cars were the cheapest solution a contractor could find, and the cheapest contract bid gets the job. I have photos of junkyard cars used to create a river shoreline somewhere in the archives

They're still out there

A '58 Ford Ranch Wagon is going to get fixed up, but look at how bad it is to start from

here is the junkyard find, and the website of it's recovery is and it's a step by step restoration

Corvette Sixty Years, by Randy Leffingwell

By the numbers
 5 chapters
129  pieces of paper between the covers

 Quality photos: about 378 (I may have miscounted a couple) 232 are color photos. Regardless of color or black and white, the images are outstanding and high quality

 Period ads: none, but plenty of period publicity photos. Good ones. Plus plenty of design sketches and drawings

Something that is important to remember when reviewing this book, the primary focus of it was information and photos NOT in the authors previous 4 Corvette books, and the other best Corvette books on the market. It makes it less simple to judge the book based on information you might be looking for but not finding, as that might be very well left out intentionally if published in "Corvette 50 years".

form and layout
Lots of photos per page to illustrate the text.

1 In the Beginning, the birth of the Corvette
    the design process, the prototypes, and the mistakes made

2 Domination to Disco, the 2nd and 3rd generation Vettes

3 Reclaiming the throne, the 4th, 5th, 6th generations

4 Racing, Beating the worlds best

5 Community action, the people and places

what do I know about Vettes not covered in the book
  Most expensive, most rare, and stats like that. This book has each model stat by engines, convertible vs hardtop, etc, and purchase price.

things I learned that I did not know
 The author, Randy, has 4 books previous to this on Corvettes. I'd say that makes him an expert. Randy has 130 Corvette books in his collection, and unknown amounts of magazines
  The breakdown of options that customers preferred, as in, the most ordered option, the most ordered color, the least desired option almost no-one bought.
 Duntov's rocky road and near firing when working at GM. Intriguing reading of how GM design, engineering, and management mishandled the Corvette.

overall impression
  Thoroughly well done, you're getting more than your dollars worth with this book. It's a damn good book, a damn fine written documentary, and exhaustively researched look at the Corvette history

  The last chapter on the Corvette specific car shows, websites, car clubs. Very cool to see this in a book, as most authors ignore the mundane reality of what happens when a car is in use, by it's owner. Randy did a great job of telling the history of the Carlisle event, the NCCC, etc plus websites dedicated to the Vette

 I had hoped the engine designations would be explained so they are understandable ie: L71, L79, L36, L68 etc etc
 The 4 sidebars of the V-8 engine, isn't that a good clue that you should have made a chapter on the engines, power trains, and engineering, instead of breaking into the chapter storyline like a news bulletin?
  Editing was not good (I'm self editting for years, and it's easy to criticize if you can tell how to improve it) and print on pages 98 and 103 was blurry (printed in China)
 The U-6S was mentioned once, but never explained, (so I still don't know if it meant the paint, turbo, or outsourced engineering)  page 135
an example of how Google book search works:

I don't like the "Continued on page ..." format when I'm reading. I read books, and that's not the way to make a good book. Take all the interruptions, and make a chapter of them. A chapter on Zora Duntov alone would have been a good editing choice, instead of interspersing information about his moments throughout the other chapters

In this book, the interruptions of the storyline are all the biographies of the guys, and some design sidebars, that made the Corvette happen in many ways, those are great. No complaint about the number, quality of research, editing, or plethora of information ... just the inappropriate locations that are out of context, and better off as a chapter to themselves


Bios: Sloan, Earl, Duntov, Mitchell, McLellan

Design: The Blue Flame engine, Corvettes in American culture (x2), fiberglas, the V-8(4 sidebars), fuel injection, 63 Split Window inspiration, acronyms of the body models, smog legislation, factory show cars, Callaway Vettes, production numbers by year chart, product change vs model longevity (engrossing and thought provoking), the 2013 model convertible news, CERV I, CERV II, Grand Sport, pace car editions, Le Mans,

For a terrific interview with the author, from the experts on Corvettes, Vette Magazine

Price, about 30 dollars from various retailers on Amazon

Friday, August 03, 2012

Grand theft auto, operating a chop shop, and busted with the pieces of an 800 mile 2005 Ford GT

a 30 year old and 48 year old guy got arrested Monday, and arraigned in court today. They plead not guilty to 11 counts.

When is the last time you heard of a stolen car getting recovered? When is the last time you heard of a chop shop and car theft ring getting busted?

All the parts of the GT were recovered, except for the steering wheel, carpet, and seats. Two Porches were also recovered.. the thieves were driving them.

Story and images from

Thursday, August 02, 2012

the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana will still have this Packard exhibit on display til Sunday, August 5th

 as you can see by looking at a couple of these photos, and counting, there are about 7 to 9 Packards in this exhibit, and I think they all belong to the air museum founder, William Lyon, Major General (Ret) USAF

Founded by Major General William Lyon, Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side of John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. Lyon Air Museum is collocated with Martin Aviation, an Air/Lyon Inc. company and award-winning general aviation repair facility established by the famed Eddie Martin back in 1923.
The Lyon Air Museum exhibit is comprised of authentic aircraft, rare vehicles and related memorabilia, with emphasis on the defining event of the 20th century – World War II. Through captivating and thought provoking exhibits based in historical scholarship, visitors gain a better understanding of the important role the United States plays in shaping world history.

the gorgeous 1940 Packard Darrin Custom Victoria 180 convertible coupe

 I think this dash must be Bakelite, the fore runner of plastic