All posts by Paul Daniel

Family, Faith, and Speed....... My wife works for a major healthcare provider. She's the brains of the operation since she has a Masters in Nursing. Our daughter takes after one of her grandmothers with her passion for music. Really great kid! Even loves aviation, one of my passions, and is looking at a possible career in it. I'm heavily involved in a variety of volunteer rolls at the Catholic Church we attend. I love speed!!! I'm a pilot, car guy, and ride a Suzuki Hayabusa. 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, 0-100 in 5 although I'll have to take Suzuki's word on that. I love going for rides with friends and enjoy the twisties where my bike really shines. I've been in the cockpits of a DC-8, DC-9, 767, 747, MD-80, and Embraer 190. I spend a week each year volunteering at the EAA flyin in Oshkosh. Love the Thunderbirds (autographed one of my F-16's) and the Blue Angels. Love the roar as they make passes.

A priceless Corvair

More valuable to this family than any other car

63 corvair, 1963 chevy corvair, corvair, corvair monza, corvair convertibleBy Paul Daniel

I love going car spotting but sometimes the cars come to me like this 1963 Corvair. One of the fun things I do during the summer is work at Ironwood Golf Course, about five minutes from my house. One day I show up to work at a really big golf outing and what’s parked right out front? This 1962 Corvair Monza Continue reading A priceless Corvair

First 2020 Corvette in Wisconsin spotted

Finally caught in the wild

2020 corvette, c8 corvette, mid-engine corvetteI was out this afternoon pandemic grocery shopping and on the way home at a four-way stop my heart started pounding. There it was, a brand new Corvette C8 in Artic White, a carryover from the C7, but it could have been in any color. It was brand new and still had dealer plates on it. Mark and I can’t wait to drive one of these as we both believe at the C8’s base price, $58,900 for the coupe and $66,400 for the convertible, get you into supercar land with money to spare.

2020 corvette, c8 corvette, mid-engine corvette

2020 corvette, c8 corvette, mid-engine corvette

 

2020 Chicago Auto Show Highlights

Lots a new models revealed

This year’s Chicago Auto Show shapes up to be one of the best in a very long time. Mark and I traveled down to Chicago during media days and there was a lot of excitement.

Other cool stuff

How about this Ford GT that was manufactured out of liquid carbon fiber. Ford says they will make about a dozen of these this year and they take about three times longer to make than the standard Ford GT.

ford gt, ford, supercars, 2020 chicago auto show

Continue reading 2020 Chicago Auto Show Highlights

These Jeeps aren’t cheap

A bright spot for American Motors

jeep cherokee, jeep cherokee golden hawk, rare jeeps
Photo: BringATrailer

I remember my dad, who worked at the National Parts Distribution Center in Milwaukee, came home one day in February 1970 and told me the big news that AMC had bought Jeep. I was probably just as excited as he was knowing that we would soon be having Jeeps show up in our driveway.  One that I remember most is a 1980 Jeep Grand Cherokee Golden Hawk just like this one that recently sold on Bring A Trailer. Not only did this give the middle finger to Wisconsin Continue reading These Jeeps aren’t cheap

Lego: Go big or go home

Lego is a marketing machine

lego kit, lego bugatti, bugatti
All Photos: Lego

It’s amazing how this Danish company, started by a carpenter in 1932 making wooden blocks, has grown into a powerhouse. In 2015, The Lego Group became the world’s largest toy company by revenue, with sales amounting to US$2.1 billion, surpassing Mattel. They do it by coming up with cool new stuff all the time like its line of Lego Technic. This is more than just connecting plastic blocks. With this series  builders can create more than just something basic, they can build something that will do stuff like this Bugatti Chiron. This 1/18th scale model features logoed spoked rims with low-profile tires, and detailed brake discs, an accessible cockpit, Technic 8-speed gearbox, detailed W16 engine and the pistons move! Geeze I wish is were bigger so I could hop in and experience the Chiron’s mind-numbing speed.

Wait! What? Lego built one!

Damn! They actually did it! A team of 16 specialist spent 13,000 man hours and utilized almost 4,000 pieces to pull it off. This is amazing. When are they going to make it available in their store?

lego bugatti, lego cars, bugatti

 

A hot new Italian ride arrives in my garage

My wife buys me my dream ride

ducati motorcycles, ducati panigale 959, ducati 959 PenNo silly boy, not a Ferrari but still a name that resonates performance. This only has two wheels and it’s a brand new Ducati 959 Penigale. Was I surprised? Well you bet and then some. For the past five years I have ridden my 2007 Suzuki Hayabusa all over the place and just recently crossed the 60,000 mile mark. That might not seem lot a whole lot but in the motorcycle world, it’s like 200,000 miles in a car. I’ve taken really good care of it, with a couple of oil changes each year, lubing the chain almost every ride, and replacing it every other year, I even had the engine dynoed last winter. I was ready to hang onto it after all, it’s a legendary ride. Continue reading A hot new Italian ride arrives in my garage

Missing the guy who got me into cars

It’s my dad who got me hooked

nash healey, sports cars, nash motors, classic sportscarsAnd his dad before him but this Christmas will be my first without him after his passing away in February. The car dad always talked about buying was a Nash Healey. The car was introduced in 1951 beating the Corvette by two years. There were just over 500 manufactured so they are rare now going for north of $100,000.

I found this video Hemmings made that made me think of this. It’s a video about a dad and son’s bond with cars and I thought I’d share it. Boy, if this doesn’t get you into the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will.

 

New Toyota Supra is super fun

We’re on a mission from God….

joliet prison, the blues brothers, jake, elwoodA  line out of the 1980 hit movie The Blues Brothers and totally appropriate for this blog entry as Mark and I traveled to the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s (MAMA) Fall Rally just outside of Joliet, IL, home of the Joliet Prison where after his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) — collectively known as the “Blues Brothers.”  Yep, we drove right past the front door. Continue reading New Toyota Supra is super fun

Fueling collector fever with just two wheels

Making the cash/time continueum work

Imagine two pie charts next to each other. In one is all the money that you allot for the fun stuff you do. Unlike the government, you need to stay on budget so if you want to do more fun stuff, you to take funds away from the stuff you currently do. With me so far? OK, now for the other pie chart. In this one is the amount of time you spend doing your fun stuff so if going to a car show took up 20% of your time and like me want to take up flying, which will take 20% of your time, you’re done going to car shows for a while. It’s a simple concept. You’re on a strict financial and time budget. Where am I going with this? Well I tried the car restoration/collecting thing and it was a disaster so I’ve turned to motorcycles.

It’s like the car thing utilizing about half the time, money, and space

I’ve been riding motorcycles since the middle 70’s when I bought a 1975 Honda 125 to commute to school. I’ve owned a couple that I wish I hadn’t sold (and where have you heard that before?) like a 1978 Kawasaki KZ 900 and 1981 Kawasaki ZR 1000. Both of them in good shape are worth a fair amount of money because they were the fastest bikes of their time. I flip bikes and currently have two, a 2007 Suzuki Hayabusa and 1981 Honda CX 500. The Busa was a trail blazer when it debuted in 1999. Out of the box it was capable of going 200 mph and was the fastest bike on the planet. It has almost a cult-like following. Right now they don’t really appreciate in value but I think they will someday. I’ve learned to do most of the work on it myself while I rely on a local bike shop for the big stuff. Over the winter I had it dyno-tuned and it is faster than snot for having 57,000 miles on it.

The Honda is a different story. A good friend of mine had it sitting in his garage for a long time and I was always after him to help bring it out of its long sleep. Then one day I got a text from him asking if I wanted the bike because his wife wanted it out of the garage. I love her. The CX were developed by Honda in the late 70’s and featured technologies not found in that era such as liquid cooling, electric-only starting, shaft drive, and dual CV-type carbs. The item that is most recognized is the crankshaft configuration aligned longitudinally with the axis of the bike sort of like a Moto Guzzi. When I rev the engine, it feels torquey even though the transmission spins contrawise. There was also a turbo version of this bike which was manufactured into the 80’s. Honda made thousands of these and they are a very affordable first bike to learn how to work on.

honda cx500, cafe racer

I wanted nothing to do with the bike’s traditional design and went straight for the cafe racer look. I had to clean the old gas out of the tank, rebuild the carbs, replace the front fork seals, get new tires, and bleed the brakes. I like yellow and painted it with a rattle can. I cut the seat down and then fiberglassed the tail, ditched the old tail lights, bought a bikini cowl for the front, and installed a new handlebar and mirrors. I had a friend of mine do the vynyl graphics. I don’t have more than $600 into the bike and if I wanted to flip it for around $2,000 but it’s a fun bike and think I’ll hang into it for a while. So now I have two bikes in my garage taking up about the same space as a Nash Metropolitan.

Take this as far as you want to within your time/cash continuum

I would love to own a Ducati which is why this Paul Smart 1000 LE caught my eye. I mean, this is a rolling piece of art that wants to go fast. The engine is air-cooled, fuel injected, electronic ignition 1000DS (dual spark) 90-degree v-twin engine 992cc, two-valves, a quoted 92bhp at 8,000rpm. Ducati only made 2,000 of these which is why it was sold for $19,500. It has just 800 original miles on it. I would add another 800 miles pretty quick on it if I could afford it.

An American original

There were a bunch of motorcycle manufacturers in the US in the early years one of them being Vincent. These bikes were legendary for their speed in their battle with Harley-Davidson. My grandpa had one. That’s where i got the motorcycle bug from.

While it’s not numbers matching this Vincent Rapide is still a fantastic bike and the restorer spent a lot of time on it, especially the chrome parts. If I were to purchase this bike and ride it the bike would only go out on sunny days where there was zero chance of rain. Getting the chrome to shine this well takes a ton of work as does keeping it that way. Up for auction at $52,000 is really a deal because it probably would take about three times that amount to restore it.

A hometown favorite

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a Made-In-Milwaukee Harley-Davidson. HD bikes from the early years can be a great investment like this 1945 Harley Davidson Knucklehead. This example looks frozen in time. Older Restoration with mostly original parts.  Numbers Match. Original Engine, Frame, Carburetor, Tins etc Less than a 1000 of these bike were produced in 1945!

What’s great about this bike is that all you would need to do is put gas in it and go. It would be a real head turner in a parade or bike night. Auction price was set at $35,000 and it was sold.

The grandad of big Japanese bikes

Before there bikes like my Busa, there was the Honda CB 750 which turns 50 this year. Introduced in January it is described as the first superbike. It waa the first bike from a mainstream manufacturer featuring an electric start and disc brakes needed to slow down what was the fastest bike of its time running the quarter-mile in around 12 seconds with a top speed of 120 mph. All this fun came for just $1,495. Sales quickly outpaced Honda’s projections and the bike remained in production until 2003.

Early production models can command a decent investment, the prototypes, which only two of the four are known to survive even more. Just last year one sold for around $224,000.

But you don’t have to spend that kind of money to get in the game. Most of them are very affordable like this 1977 Honda CB 750 which sold for just $2,500. What you get for just a bit more than the original list price is a bike that has so many ways to go. You could go crazy with a full restoration or like I did with my CX500, turn it into a Cafe Racer.

There are tons of performance parts for the bike from carbs to exhaust. What I love about the Cafe Racer craze is that every bike becomes an extension of the owner. The bike is super-easy to work on but if you get stuck it has very active owner forums like Honda Twins so don’t feel intimidated or bashful. I’ve gone to the CX 500 forum a bunch of times and always found them helpful.

So there you have it, lot’s of options that don’t have to make you worry how you’re going to pay for your kid’s education or missing a mortgage payment. Best of all, even owning several bikes will all fit in even the smallest of garages.

 

Drone races an F1 car

Drones are everywhere

droneThat segment of radio control flight has gone sky high compared to the planes and jets that I fly. They are so affordable and do so much more than the early models that I flew. I love reading and seeing new types of photography utilizing drones but this one looked like great fun.

As a rule, drones are not particularly fast unless it’s a racing drone. Those really rip and can go up to 130 mph. Pretty quick but not fast enough to chase an F1 racing car. Great effort though as you will see in this video.red bull f1 car