Saturday, December 26, 2009

How NOT to take your own advice.

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Okay, I know this video sucks. . . It's my first attempt at editing, publishing, and producing an internet video. I see the irony. In an earlier blog I suggest the Indy 500 guys "Don't suck" and here I am uploading cr*p on my blog. It sucks. Touche'. Episode #1 is just a few images from the 2009 Hemmings Challenge. Please notice that it begins with a 1916 Buick and by the end you can see the red hood of a 2010 Mustang [see blog below]. I promise Episode #2 will be better....

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In the 13+ years I've lived in Texas, I can't remember ever having a white Christmas! Awesome. I don't know who was more excited, me or the kids.... :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hey, it's snowing!!! Christmas eve and we're getting a little of the white stuff here in Texas. Who says miracles don't happen??? It's not sticking to the ground, but hey - I'll take it. Joe, Mom, Dad, JeanAnn . . . Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 17, 2009






Man I love eBay.... Check it out: This beast is not for the faint of heart. It's a 1921 LaFrance firetruck chassis, with a 1918 6-cylinder engine, titled as a 1915 vehicle. Wow! Just in time for Christmas. Who wouldn't love to wake up and see this vintage speedster under the tree? I can't imagine what this monster is like to drive. It's a 820 cu in engine good for 105 bhp! By comparison, my Buick is only 224 cu in and about 45 bhp. How absolutely terrifying!!! The Buy It Now price is $149,900, so I'm pretty sure Mrs. Claus won't be getting me this for Christmas - probably just as well. . . For anyone interested, the eBay item number is 200416005235 and you have until Dec 18th 17:07:36 PST to bid. If you buy this car, let me know. I'd love to see it in person. Tom, good luck - my hats off to you, VERY cool car! PS- JeanAnn, I was only kidding.... :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So this is pretty cool.... There is a movie being planned that tells the tale of the first Indy 500 from 1911. Production is planned for 2010 with a 2011 release date. The official website is: http://thespectaclebegins.com/ What is REALLY cool is that the action will be live and not animated. There is a plan to build a replica of the 1911 Indy 500 race track (design by Paxton Waters), so it will look as it did a century ago. Even better for old car nuts like me: they're building 40 replicas of the original race cars. Coker Tire in Chattanooga, TN is close to completing the "star" - a replica of THE original race-winning Marmon Wasp! How cool is that? Misters Escue and Pizzo have a daunting task ahead of them. There really aren't very many good racing movies. I'm not a film maker, but a bit of advice that was given to me years ago (and has worked) seems appropriate: Don't Suck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The continuing saga of a Vintage Rallist... So now that the 2009 season is over, here are a few of the lessons learned: In 2007, Joe and I learned that rallying an old car is fun. Our definition of old was 1969. Ha! All of the veteran racers were helpful, courteous, and nice, but I couldn't help but feel somewhat out of place since their definition of "old" was something prior to 1948. So for 2008, we rallied a 1932 Ford Speedster. We did okay - not great, not horrible; just okay. Well, I reasoned that if a '32 age factor was good then a '16 age factor had to be GREAT! So away went the Ford Speedster and we welcomed the 1916 Buick Speedster. Fast-forward to 2009's lessons learned: 1) There is a reason old cars have an age factor. A 1932 Ford is not as easy to drive as a 1969 Porsche. . . and a 1916 Buick is not as easy to drive as the Ford. In fact it's not easy to drive, at all! It's fun in a kinda "will-we-make-it-to-live-another-day" sorta way. I like driving the car but you really have to keep one step ahead of it. The best description I can give you is this: It's like flying a WWI Sopwith Camel. The wind blow, the chassis shakes, the engine howls, bugs die with a SPLAT on your goggles, and the whole time you're thinking, "Man this is fun! Hope I don't die!" 2) Testing the car in Texas (flat) and then racing it in Missouri (hilly) was a bad idea. The Buick is rear-only drum brakes. The car stops poorly at intersections at the bottom of a hill when you're approaching at 45 mph. The car doesn't stop at ALL if the road is wet or has gravel on it. 3) There is a balance among age, performance, and topography. Taking it all into consideration, I think the next time we'll race the Buick will be next June at the Sugar Valley Rally. Nebraska is flat. And they have a category that limits top speed to something less scary than 50 mph.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


In Feb 2006, I started Dixie Racing Blog (www.motorheadhotspots.com) in an attempt to document my "Great Race" project - a 1929 Ford Model A speedster. It was my intention to build a rally car and participate in the Great Race - a two week, cross-country, 4,500+ mile old car rally. My results were mixed. On the minus side: I never got the car built. Life got in the way and between family, work, kids, church, friends, etc., there was just never enough time and/or money. I also missed my 2006 target date. On the plus side: My friend Joe and I did manage to race the 2007 rally in a 1969 Porsche 911T and we placed 2nd in class! My original blog captures the events from Feb 2006 to Dec 2009. In short, it includes: rallying five different cars (1968 Porsche 912, 1969 Porsche 911T, 1932 Ford Model A Speedster, 1916 Buick Speedster, and a 2010 Ford Mustang [why? -don't ask]), making several really good friends, the demise/bankrupcy of Great Race, the Rise of the VCRA, some really good finishes and some not-so-good finishes...

So what's new? I now have a new blog (for simplicity sake). I have a new car (1928 Ford Model A Speedster). I still have the same old friend and navigator (wouldn't trade him for the world!). And we have a new season to look forward to! In case you're interested:

April 23-25, 2010
Spring Fling, Ponca City, OK

June 4-6, 2010
Sugar Valley Rally, Scottsbluff, NE

July 25-30, 2010
VCRA Hemmings Challenge, Bowling Green, KY

Sept 17-19, 2010
Coker Challenge, Chattanooga, TN

See you on the road!