Saturday, May 17, 2014

The most notorious one race wonders

Gary Balough's "Batmobile"

The big DIRT race at Syracuse every Fall had become almost the Daytona 500 of dirt modified racing. Each year, the best of the New York, New Jersey, Vermont, and Pennsylvania dirt mod scene would convene at the New York State fairgrounds in Syracuse for a huge race on the mile track.

 Around 1980, Gary Balough and Kenny Weld showed up at the event with the damnedest – looking rig ever seen – a Lincoln Continental roof over the most high-tech car that would ever grace the dirt mile in central New York.

Modifieds couldn't use sprint-car like top wings for downforce, so Weld and Balough put the flat Lincoln roof from a 60's continental on their car and angled it forward exactly like a wing.

 Its wide flat roof was canted to be a huge, controllable wing for the wide-bodied car. There were wind tunnels along both sides, the entry slats to which could be controlled by Balough while at speed.

Even the wheels were different. Weld, who had connections within the Indy car world, had installed Indy car knock-offs on the car, in contrast to everyone elses’ regular lug nuts. The driver sat in a contained compartment, with a curved cowl similar to a sprint car. By the time the race was lining up to begin, it was clear to all in attendance that Balough would win – the only question was either by how much or, if not, what broke on the car to stop him.

From what I have gathered, he was lapping the field of the best dirt modified racing had to offer before halfway. Nothing failed, and Balough was a big winner. I guess the pair of Weld and Balough were told never to show up at another DIRT race with the thing. It survived a strange chain of events thereafter and ended up on display at museums such as the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

More to come, definitely one of Smokey's cars... I just have to figure out if it's going to be the Chevelle or the Camaro, or the Mustang

Whoops, caught cheating at taxes... in order to fund a racing team

Once known as ‘the king of drag racing,’ Evan Knoll—former Torco Racing Fuels owner—pleaded guilty in a $100 million fraud.

 He was sentenced at age 52 to 14 years in jail.

 Knoll’s legal problems stemmed from allegedly misusing the 18.3-cents-per-gallon tax levied on fuel to help fund road construction.

 But when the fuel isn’t used for regular road-going vehicles, such as dragsters, you can apply for a refund. According to prosecutors, Knoll got about $87 million in refunds, but the claims he made were reportedly fictitious.

found on  and the
April 14 print edition of Autoweek magazine

Why build cars that can drive themselves?

If cars drive themselves, why build them? Why sell them? What makes one any better than the next? Why buy this one instead of that one? Price? Interior amenities? A reduced propensity to crash electronically and thus physi­cally? And when the crashes come, they’ll be wholly the carmakers’ fault. Maybe we should be asking brand reps a different question: Why create cars that shift the liability from drivers onto yourselves?

Very thought provoking article in April 2014 Car and Driver magazine

Shelby Series 1, lest we forget

full gallery at

I was just reminded this week that I haven't seen another Shelby Series 1 since 2007.

Supercharged Oldsmobile Aurora engine good for 400 hp, were put into about 50 of the approx 250 made. Since this Shelby car wasn't based on an already existing car (AC cars, Dodge stuff, Ford stuff) is it the only Shelby car that went into production? I think so

a terrific infographic source of info about Connecticut vehicles, the Courant, founded in 1764

the infographics are all interfaced with the reader on their website, and you can select the parameters of your view, for example, what city, what type of car, etc,0,5571426.htmlpage#.U3e26_ldVee

Pat Clancy's unique 6 wheeled Indy race car, the only 6 wheeler to ever race at Indy

In 1948, at the Indianapolis 500, a six-wheeled car built by Pat Clancy, and driven by Billy DeVore powered its way to 12th position overall. The four rear wheels of the car were driven by two axles connected by a universal joint. The six-wheel Indy car only lasted one race, in 1949 it was converted back to a conventional 4-wheel racer. It remains the only six-wheel car to ever race at the Indianapolis 500

Found on via

Office Depot hosts cars shows?

Found on   so I guess it's in Hungary. This is a good website to see what's going on in Europe with cars on the roads, and car shows featuring cars like the above

strangest trunk toys I've seen

Friday, May 16, 2014

look at this, and let your mind scope it out. A 1966 Honda P55 by Chicara Nagata

Henry Ford quote

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”

I have to applaud a cool event by a company, not selling the Jeeps, just allowing Jeep owners to experience a 3 level obstacle course in the middle of Daytona Beach

Applause to the USMC helo CH 46 and CH 53's at work fighting fires

In response to the problems encountered a couple years ago when the worst wildfires in California history swept through So Cal, major efforts were pushed to get the US military wildfire fighting capable helicopters unleashed from moronic rules about not operating in civilian causes (corpus something latin US history 101) and now they can help out the under manned, underfunded, and basically overwhelmed Cal Fire airborne fire fighting ability

Six specially-equipped MH-60S Sea Hawks are supporting CAL FIRE firefighting efforts in response to wildfires throughout the County of San Diego.

Image from

selling lunch from her Model "T" Ford food vending car... the earliest vehicular predecessor to the gourmet food vans

Dispatch: "duck tape that shit and deliver that load!!! No excuses!"

Found on a great source of all things Peterbilt:

16th annual Sno Birds vintage snowmobile get together at Gordy's in Rice Lake

the back roads of Michigan and Wisconsin, just dirt roads, frequently full of water that never drains away, and great for atvs

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dr Suess advertised gasoline!

Casler spare spark plug holder

Porsche isn't the only company with options that cost 4x the cost of the car, no surprise, Mini is another

The British brand has launched its latest hatch in Australia, and the entry-level two-door model has an optional extras list that can double its price.

Customers who order “one with the lot” will be staring down the barrel of a bill for $25,640 in options on top of the $26,650 for the price of their car.

 1 “Lounge” leather trim: $2700
2 Sports automatic transmission with paddle shifters (Cooper S): $2650
3 18-inch alloy wheels: $2500
4 “Cross-punch” leather trim: $2400
5 Automatic transmission (Cooper and Cooper S): $2350
6 Panoramic sunroof: $1900
7 Adaptive LED headlights: $1800
8 “Professional” sat-nav: $1400
9 Driver assistance pack: $1350
10 Harmon Kardon stereo: $1200


1977 Mint 400

Low and slow, and man, if Pixar could release "Planes 2" right now, they'd make a lot of money with the increased attention on fire fighting planes

another car parts furniture piece

the beauty of a wood speedboat, influenced by streamliner cars I bet

Found on facebook, I don't recall when or where

Lola (why yes, I do go to Comic Con)

the Boss Cat truck and trailer have endured since 1971 and have recently been found and are getting restored

before and after

 above as found seperately

and below as it looked in 1971

All photos from

Tom Ische is an Arctic Cat collector and has went above and beyond to locate and restore these... how cool is that!

just for the trivia, Arctic Cat snowmobile model names:
  Alleycat Bearcat Cheetah Cougar Eltigre Firecat Jag Jaguar King Kat King Cat Kitten Kitty Cat Lynx Manx Mountaincat Pantera Panther Prowler Puma Sabercat Thundercat Tomcat Trailcat Turftiger Wildcat
Found on the Boss Cat Facebook page: