The Vintage Racers Group (VRG) takes over Summit Point Raceway with their latest rendition of the Jefferson 500. Our Mike Matune was trackside.
Racers and spectators were treated to five days of driver schools, practice, qualifying and, of course, racing. Here the Cunningham Cup cars, top, are caught coming under the bridge with Hobart Buppert’s Chevy-powered Lola and Michael Zappa’s Ford-powered Superformance GT40 racer at the head of the grid. Behind them comes a field chock full of all manner of noise, horsepower and speed. Herb Wetanson’s Aston Martin DB4, above, has been re-bodied with a shell paying homage to the great Zagato-bodied racers of the 1960s. The body is presented in raw, polished aluminum to show off its lines and workmanship required to create it.
Paved ovals have been placed on a financial red alert. Times are tough for America's asphalt bullrings even while dirt tracks seem to be thriving, primarily due to the popularity of sprint car racing. Stephen Cox talks with Scott Kosak.
I was recently talking with the owner of a well-known asphalt late-model Touring Series who made a remarkable observation. Here is a guy who has been in auto racing his entire life, and when offered an opportunity to operate a racetrack he responded, “You've got to be insane to own a racetrack right now. This is the worst time in the world to own or operate a track. I don't know how these guys stay in business.”
Those are heavy words from a man who is in a position to know. Not only are paved tracks closing left and right, but many of the telecasts that once promoted asphalt bullrings are defunct. The major network telecasts featuring the old American Speed Association are long gone as are the former Hooters Pro Cup programs on SPEED. Even the recent regional telecasts from the ARCA Truck Series, Mid-American Stock Car Series and the Super Cup Stock Car Series are off the air now.
Musclecars, hot rods, classics and sports cars are proudly displayed in Santa Barbara, California’s Riviera.
Organizers are calling the 2015 State Street Nationals Car Show a rousing success. Thousands of visitors enjoyed more than 300 vintage, exotic and collectible cars that lined 11 blocks of downtown Santa Barbara last weekend. The Page Youth Center and The Goleta Lions Club are two of the charities benefiting from the show's proceeds. Our Jim Palam reports.
Ain't she pretty? This ‘30 Ford Model A, top, has almost as much charm as the Rocket Fizz girl who happily posed for the many photographers in attendance. Jeff Olson's Pretty in Mint '67 Corvette Sting Ray, above, with Day Two mags is a prime example of what many believe to be “America's Favorite Sports Car.”
The feature film documentary about Paul Newman’s racing career is finally available on Video On Demand.
Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman has received fantastic reviews from the media and fans alike. The documentary chronicles the 35-year racing career of Paul Newman and features interviews with Robert Redford, Robert Wagner, Patrick Dempsey, Jay Leno, Mario Andretti, and many more. Produced and directed by Adam Carolla. Produced and co-directed by Nate Adams; Executive producer, Matt D’Andria.
Seven GT40s are amongst legendary racecars lining up for this year’s Le Mans Legend event.
The extended age range for this year’s Le Mans Legend race on Saturday June 13th has allowed seven Ford GT40s to join the spectacular historic grid that will race on the full Le Mans circuit. It all happens just a few hours before the start of the modern 24-Hour endurance race. 61 iconic cars, dating from 1949 to 1968 and representing 26 different marques, will take to the track in an outstanding live-action showcase covering two decades of motor racing history. 14 of the cars entered actually raced at Le Mans in period, and the remainder of the grid boasts their own impressive competition histories.
The red GT40 of U.S. drivers Philippe Mulacek and Alain Vinson took part in the 1967 Le Mans 24-Hour, Marc Doncieux’s GT40 raced there in 1966, and Claude Nahum/Bernard Thuner’s Mk 1 in 1968, with Eric Lidell replacing the car’s regular driver that season David Piper to share with Mike Salmon. Bernard is the son of Jean Jacques Thuner, a four-times competitor in the Le Mans 24-Hour.
Sarasota Café Racers satellite in Tehran celebrates Fifth anniversary of car guy camaraderie and bonding with U.S. friends.
The Sarasota and Tehran Café Racers have accomplished more to improve and normalize U.S.-Iran relations than have diplomats over the past decade! We’re talking about relations between enthusiasts who share a common passion for cars and not influenced by political agendas. This effort has been spearheaded by American musclecar collector Ramin Salehkhou, a Tehran-based lawyer who is involved in everything automotive – rallies, clubs, the Shah’s collection and FIA representation - that goes on in Iran. A pristine '48 Chevy leads the way, below.
Jim Koscs delves into the world of Soviet cars and collectors and rides to a New Jersey Starbucks in a ZiL.
Do you know a GAZ from a VAZ? A ZiM from a ZiL? Russian cars from the Soviet era are turning up in surprising places, including the Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance in Connecticut. Last year, a '82 VAZ Lada, based on the Fiat 124, won its class there.
One of the most intriguing entries at this year’s event is a ‘85 ZiL said to have been one of the backup limousines for Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1987 summit with President Reagan in Washington. It now resides in New Jersey. And, east of Seattle in Samammish, WA, a man who left Russia 25 years ago wants to start a museum for Soviet vehicles.
He’s got 30 so far.
On May 22, BMW will unveil the new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
The Hommage is the BMW Design Team’s tribute to the 3.0 CSL, a timeless classic and iconic coupe from the 1970s. It is a nod to the engineering achievement exemplified by the BMW 3.0 CSL in its lightweight design and performance. The Hommage draws on the character of the earlier model and endows it with cutting-edge materials to translate it into the present in a new and exciting guise.
After competing on oval tracks for the past three seasons, Stephen Cox returns to long distance endurance racing this year with Rocksteady Racing.
Rocksteady Racing will participate in World Racing League (WRL) events including the 16-hour enduro that will comprise the final race ever run at Texas World Speedway on May 30-31. Cox will join Rocksteady's four-driver team for the two-day race. The historic venue, which opened in 1969, closes permanently just days after the event.
Rocksteady Racing was founded by team principal Todd Carver of Tulsa, OK to compete in national amateur motorsports events including the WRL and SCCA Super Touring Lite. The team fields a race-prepped Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe outfitted with a Bilstein suspension, competition chassis bracing and six-speed gearbox.
Our friend Justin Cupler at TopSpeed speculates on how BMW will be ready for the expected Cadillac V-Series CT6-V.
According to a new report, the BMW Erbsenzähler have finally decided to give the much-anticipated M7 the green light when the 2017 model year 7-Series goes into production. For the complete story, based on recent reports by BMW and a little creativity from TopSpeed’s art department, please visit http://www.topspeed.com/cars/bmw/2017-bmw-m7-ar169126.html
No driving event in the classic car community can compete with the
historic Mille Miglia.
This weekend, Kim McCullough, Vice President, Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America, along with her husband Mitch, will be tackling the grueling 1,000-mile Mille Miglia classic car rally through Italy. They’ll be driving their ‘54 Jaguar XK120 roadster. Here Kim tells us why she’s so thrilled, and honored, to be competing in this legendary event: http://interactivejaguar.com/blog.do?id=1035&p=entry
Mike Matune checks out the 32nd annual German cars show produced by local area BMW, Mercedes and Porsche clubs.
Marking its 32nd year, the Deutsche Marque Concours d’Elegance has become a staple on the National Capital Area’s Spring car event schedule. Put on by the local chapters of the BMW, Mercedes and Porsche car clubs, the Concours crowds the show field at Nottoway Park in Vienna, VA with all manner of German automotive finery. The Porsche “Outlaw” row contained some interesting variations on the Porsche theme, including Alan Friedman’s ‘73 911RSR. The paint color shocks the retinas and the “Hippy” paint job adds a lot of visual interest. The ducktail rear spoiler, straps on the rear window, wide wheels & tires and numbering leave little doubt that this is a purpose built vintage racer.
Award-winning actor breaks Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 88-year old record, runs 180.361 mph on Pendine Sands, Wales.
Idris Elba, star of Luther and The Wire, piloted a Bentley to break the historic ‘Flying Mile’ UK land speed record – 174.8 mph - set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1927. Hitting more than 180 mph in a new Bentley Continental GT Speed, Elba broke Campbell’s record set nearly 90 years ago in his legendary Napier-Campbell Blue Bird. The record was independently verified by the UK Timing Association.
Elba, who famously played Nelson Mandela in the multi-award winning Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, said: “I'm absolutely elated to have broken the 'Flying Mile' at Pendine Sands. It’s an honour to have taken on the challenge, and to successfully follow in the footsteps of the illustrious Sir Malcolm Campbell.”
Stephen Cox blogs about the sixteenth ’66 Mustang A/Sedan racer built by Shelby,
but never raced.
Originally painted in Ford's familiar Wimbledon White, the car was loaded with go-fast equipment during a lengthy process when it was converted from assembly line stock into a professional racing machine. Like the fifteen cars that preceded it, a K-Code 289/271 small-block powered this Shelby Mustang. In reality, it probably had far more power than that since Shelby's small block Fords routinely registered well beyond 400 horsepower on the dyno.
The car would leap out of corners under acceleration. The Borg-Warner close-ratio four-speed transmission was linked to a 3.89 rear with Detroit Locker differential. The suspension was state of the art for 1966, including lowered front A-arms, front sway bar, with Pitman and idler arms borrowed directly from Shelby's ultra successful GT350R racecars. The factory black interior was mostly stripped, replaced by a racing seat with three-inch safety belts, an 8,000-rpm tachometer and a four-point roll cage.
Mike & Maureen Matune take us on a tour of a shop that does it all.
This Rat-Rod checked all the boxes with Ford “Y-Block” power with three deuces, “Z’d” frame and a well thought out combination of seemingly unrelated parts with the right fit & finishes. Rod has a removable roof panel and side windows held in by Dzus fasteners.
Amelia Island friends Barb & Allison Griffiths invited us to attend the Spring Open House at their shop, Treasured Motorcar Services LTD (TMS) in Reisterstown, MD. ‘55 Porsche, right, was originally named “Continental.” Use of the name put Porsche in conflict with Ford Motor Company (Lincoln) and they eventually changed it to “356.”
Here is a portion of what TMS has under roof, below. Showcased during the Open House were several of their current projects along with customer and local enthusiasts’ cars. Work on display consisted of everything from full-on restorations to updates and routine services.
Ford pays tribute to Carroll Shelby’s original GT350 Mustang and builds 37 track-ready competition GT350R models.
The original ’65 Shelby GT350 and GT350R, above, established Mustang’s performance cred on racetracks around the world. The all-new Shelby GT350, featuring the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever, re-establishes Mustang as a world-class sports car. Only 100 Shelby GT350s will feature a 2015 model year designation before production switches over to 2016. Of these, 50 will be equipped with the Technology Package and 50 equipped with the Track Package.
“Fans of the Shelby brand are among the most passionate in the automotive industry,” said Henry Ford III, Ford Performance marketing manager. “To honor the passion of our fans for Shelby GT350’s 50th anniversary, a limited run of GT350 models will be built in 2015; these cars will be highly coveted by both Mustang and Shelby enthusiasts alike.”
It doesn’t have a zip code and it’s not on the map, but Fleetwood is home to Sal Santoro’s colorful Mirage Garage Cadillac collection.
‘59 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe is totally original, including paint, chrome and interior. This was Sal’s first collector vehicle, purchased in 1991 in New Jersey with 51,000 miles from its original owner. It’s a “base” model with crank windows, AM radio, and power brakes and steering, and no AC. It has just two options: Two-tone paint and fog lights.
A guide to the engine that made Chevrolet The Number One Team.
Between 1965 and 1976, Chevrolet’s iconic big-block distinguished itself in all forms of racing, and on the street in Corvettes, Camaros, Chevelles, Novas and full-size Chevys. Big-blocks started out with cast-iron blocks and heads, progressed to cast-iron block with aluminum heads (L-88) and peaked with aluminum block and heads (ZL-1).
L-88 aluminum-head 427 engine, top, in '68 Baldwin-Motion Camaro. Joel Rosen, left, tunes L-88 in Motion-built KO-MOTION '67 Corvette while owner, the late "Astoria Chas" Snyder, looks on. Sting Ray set AHRA National Record.
Latest special edition Corvette is a road-going, track-capable homage to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecars.
Only 500 examples of the C7.R Edition, in Corvette Racing’s signature yellow livery – or black – with coordinated exterior and interior accents, will be built when they go on sale later this year. All will include the Z07 Performance Package with carbon ceramic brakes, as well as a specially serialized vehicle identification number.
The Z07 Performance Package includes Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced un-sprung weight. The Z07 package also includes adjustable front and rear aero components for unprecedented aerodynamic downforce and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2
tires for enhanced grip.
Legendary BMW racer Boris Said will be honored as Grand Marshal at the Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta this weekend.
BMW USA Classic will be well represented at this weekend’s Classic Motorsports Mitty Speedfest, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA, April 24-26, 2015. Charismatic BMW racer and retailer, Boris Said, will be honored as this year’s Grand Marshal for the vintage races featuring over 300 cars. Said was an integral part of the BMW Team PTG years, co-driving to many victories including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Petit Le Mans. Said is the only American to have won overall at the famous Nürburgring 24 hour race, co-driving a BMW Motorsport M3 GTR in 2005.
There's something for everyone - rods, customs, sports cars, racecars, trucks - at the premier swap meet and show in Southern California
If you're a car guy and live in Southern California, you've probably dragged your body out of bed at 5 AM on a Sunday morning, grabbed a wad of cash and your Radio Flyer wagon, and headed over to the Fairplex in Pomona. That’s the home of the biggest and best event of its kind.
Well that's what Car Guy Chronicle's Jim Palam did this past Sunday – leaving his wagon home and bringing his trusty camera to score some digital eye candy for CGC fans and followers.
Stephen Cox blogs about the survival of the Super Cup Stock Car Series.
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that a short track series is advertising free admission at their upcoming season opener. The bad news is, of course, that a short track series is advertising free admission at their upcoming season opener.
By all means, please go to the Super Cup Stock Car Series race at CNB Bank Raceway on May 2nd in Clearfield, PA. It will be a truly great short track event and it won't cost you a dime. They'll even let you bring in your own food and drinks. It is a racing enthusiast's dream
in every possible sense.
But the bigger picture is more serious. Why are Super Cup and CNB Raceway inclined to do this? Because oval tracks big and small are closing at a record pace all across America. Virginia's Old Dominion Speedway, a short track landmark since 1948, recently closed. This time next year, the once mighty Texas World Speedway will be a housing development. California's Irwindale Speedway is slated to become a shopping mall. Texas Thunder Speedway, Green Valley Speedway and Baer Field Speedway are among many other recent casualties.
Mike Matune, our man in the field, blogs about another great vintage racing event
in Southern Virginia.
VRG and VDCA combined for an early season event at Virginia International Raceway. Despite early threats of intense weather, the event ran under clear skies. The organizers somehow managed to hold the rain off until evening and the racing was over, neat trick! Here the Group 3 field, top, moves out of “Oak Tree” and stretches all the way down the back straight. Noted author Tom Cotter (Holman Moody, The Cobra in the Barn and 50 Shades Of Rust) and friend of CGC editor, turned up at VIR with a Corvette. Normally associated with the Blue Oval and Shelby Cobras, Tom’s Sting Ray sports SAAC stickers front and rear. His Corvette has been a racecar for almost its entire life. Tom, above, signals his intentions to pit on Turn 17.
The first ’15 COPO Camaro will go to the highest bidder at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction; all proceeds will go to the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans.
Chevrolet is selling the first ‘15 COPO Camaro racecar, Vin # 2015COPO001, on Saturday, April 18, to raise money for Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, a non-profit organization that helps disabled athletes, including veterans, gain access to races, equipment, and training dedicated to improve their physical abilities.
“This sale gives the highest bidder the opportunity to buy the first of only 69 factory-assembled ‘15 COPO Camaro racecars, the final year of the fifth-generation Camaro,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Chevrolet is excited to offer this milestone Camaro to help a very worthy organization.”
The aero-inspired RC-F wears Lexus’ angriest face yet and has the horsepower to back it up, blogs Dan Scanlan.
The “F” stands for Fuji Speedway, where Lexus conducts high-speed testing and development. And with 467 horsepower available, some straight roads became speedways when we let the RC-F howl.
We thought the IS-F was the king of the Fs with its 5-liter V-8’s 416 horsepower, a bellowing basso exhaust note over 3,500-rpm, then 60-mph in 4.8 seconds and 100-mph in 10.8 seconds. Then we checked out the RC-F’s 467 horsepower engine with its bright blue intakes and bracing struts, backed by a close-ratio eight-speed transmission. It just isn’t a lightly reworked IS-F. There are new cylinder heads, higher compression and lighter internal parts, titanium valves, forged connecting rods, an air-cooled oil cooler, new or redesigned cylinder heads and cam covers and more.
Ex-Indycar racer keeps on truckin’, blogs Stephen Cox.
A few years ago the late Mike Stephens, then owner of the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Oklahoma, helped me find a ride in an open-cockpit Toyota World Sports Racer. I had no experience in the type and missed the podium in consecutive races. A month later I switched to a sports car team and won the next event. After the race, Mike cruised by in his golf cart and shouted at me.
“Hey, Stephen! Now I know what's been wrong with you lately.”
“Oh, what's that?”
“You just needed a car with a roof on it.”
Yup, I was lousy in the Toyota. Something just didn't fit. Mike was an old hand, and he knew that sometimes a driver just doesn't match up with a certain type of car. Likewise, Ernesto Jose Viso just didn't seem to get along in Indycars. From 2008 through 2013 the Venezuela-born driver struggled with three major open-wheel teams, yet posted only a single podium
finish in a six-year career.
Dan Scanlan test-drives the 725-horspower boosted, bad and mega-priced Mustang from Galpin Ford.
Henrik Fisker, right, couldn’t leave it alone.
As Ford was teasing the sixth-generation Mustang, Fisker was thinking of how to give it more “pure emotion,” he said. The result is the Galpin Fisker Rocket - Galpin Auto Sports, Henrik Fisker and an apt name for a 725-horsepower Ponycar. They unveiled it at the Los Angeles Auto Show: a low-volume carbon fiber-bodied super-Mustang. Then I became one of the first to drive production model No. 1 at its premiere at the 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Fisker designed the BMW Z8, coachbuilt Tramonto and Latigo CS (a rebodied Mercedes-Benz SL and BMW 6-Series), Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, luxury plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma and Aston Martin Thunderbolt, also revealed at Amelia.
Galpin Auto Sports is part of a 69-year-old automotive empire in California that includes multiple dealerships as well a Van Nuys-based customizing and personalizing service. Galpin’s President Beau Boeckmann said the Mustang has been his favorite car for most of his life. He said he thinks Ford’s design team “nailed it” with the 2015 model, but he wanted to do
something really special with it.
Legends of the quarter-mile celebrate one of the most exciting periods in drag racing history. Thomas Wolfe got it wrong when he wrote, ‘You Can’t Go Home Again.’
The original Golden Commandos "Goldfish" Barracuda, owned by Bruce Lindstrom, Sarasota, Florida will be one of many featured cars at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the First Super/Stock Nationals held at York US30 Dragway on August 7, 1965. It will be presented at the York Expo Center, York Fairgrounds during the 14th Annual Musclecar Madness at the York Reunion on July 10-11, 2015.
That event turned out to be the largest one-day drag racing event ever presented and ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The event is known to this very day as the "Woodstock of Drag Racing". Nick Smith of Stuart, Florida, owner of the world famous Strickler Dodge will also be displaying a ‘64 Ford Galaxie lightweight 427 at the show as well.
The York event has had a history of having the largest attendance of legends of the drag racing sport at one event at one time. This year's event will be no exception with "Ohio George" Montgomery, Al Joniec, Jon Lundberg, "Miss Hurst" Linda Vaughn, Wally Bell, Bruce Larson, Jim Wemett, Jack Redd, George Snizek, Bob Harrop, Bobby Warren, Jim Walther, Jere Stahl, Arlen Fadely, Larry Lombardo, Tom Sneden, Ed Hedrick, Tommy Kling, George Cureton, George Weiler, George Nye, and the list goes on.
If you love ‘old school’ hot rods, you gotta have this 300-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Traditional hot rod builder Vern Tardel takes you inside his shop with this extraordinary new 16x20-inch jigsaw picture puzzle. The subject is a 1932 roadster he built. Always the guy to share his fascination with hot rods, Vern's new puzzle will challenge anyone with its vibrant colors and amazing detail seen in this high-resolution HDR photo created by Richard Small.
Packaged in a super-structured box, typical of Vern's attention to detail, it will keep puzzle fans and hot rodders happily engaged for hours. The finished result is suitable for framing. Priced at $20, the puzzle is available at select hot rod shops and online at http://www.verntardel.com/
Starting at $199,495, the 2016 SVAutobiography takes luxury and refinement
to new heights.
Speaking ahead of the model’s world premier at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern stated, “With the SVAutobiography we have taken the opportunity to optimize the luxury execution and precision of the Range Rover while delivering beautiful detailing that considerably enhances the customer’s experience of our flagship vehicle.”
Exclusively crafted at the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) Technical Center in the UK, SVAutobiography features unique exterior design enhancements, an exclusive premium leather interior with unique trim finishes and a supercharged 550-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine. As a result, it is the most luxurious and powerful series-production Range Rover in the model’s successful 45-year history.
Dan Scanlan road tests the 370Z NISMO and delivers the good news…and bad!
It was a good news/bad news kind of test. First, I got a ‘15 Nissan 370Z NISMO Coupe the same day that they released info on the new NISMO Roadster Concept before its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The radical roadster is no surprise since the current iteration of the iconic Z dates back to 2009, and the test coupe looked and drove like the roadster will if it’s made.
The bad news? Yutaka “Mr. K” Katayama, once head of Nissan U.S.A. and the “Father of the Z” since he pushed for the first 240Z to come stateside in 1970, died as I was testing its great-grandson six times over. The best way to cheer and tear is drive a sports car,so I did.
Jim Koscs has been digging into the history of the unique 1973-‘78 GMC Motorhome. Thousands are still on the road, taking their owners on adventures in
far-flung corners of the globe.
More than four decades after its introduction, the GMC Motorhome boasts a cult-like global following with devoted owners in far-flung corners of the planet. Such single-marque devotion, commonplace for classic cars, is something of an oddity for RVs. Owners call themselves “GMCers” and take their classic machines on the road for weeks or months at a time.
General Motors broke new ground when it launched its sensational Motorhome for 1973. Its engineering and construction were innovative for an industry that typically built wood-framed boxes for commercial-truck chassis. The design was no less revolutionary and introduced aerodynamics to a vehicle class where most vehicles were shaped like barns.