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.

Cars your rarely see on the road

Another unusual car made in Wisconsin

The Excalibur Automobile Corporation was born by the idea Milwaukee native, and world-famous designer, Brook Stevens  who sketched a concept on a place mat while at a restaurant in 1964. He was asked by his then employee Studebaker to create buzz for their exhibit at the New York Auto Show. I love Studebaker, in many ways like AMC, in that they had to swing for the fence to get noticed by automotive buyers. It was at the auto show that Studebaker announced they were getting out of the auto business.

But that wasn’t the end of the Excalibur. The car received so much attention the Excalibur Automotive Corporation was formed to produce the cars. The engine and drive train came from General Motors while the bodies and interiors were hand-crafted in West Allis, suburb just west of Milwaukee. The car was pretty quick utilizing a Chevy 327 engine. With the same engine used in the Corvette and the standard 3.31:1 rear axle, acceleration from 0–60 mph took less than six seconds.

And it looks even better stretched

Which is why I stopped to take a picture of it. In an era where everything from Chrysler 300’s to Hummers are stretched into limos, this one would still attract a crowd. In fact, it has more value in the collector car market than the original car. You can find Excaliburs from the mid 1960’s all the way through the late 1980’s and very affordable ranging in prices from $37,000 for a Series 3, to a 1989 Roadster Convertible for $65,000.  Not bad considering there were just around 3,500 copies made.

The limo, much less, around 13, according to their website. These are the ones made in West Allis, not ones stretched by other companies. My best source for pricing came from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) where they listed the 1989 model with a low retail of $94,000, average of $177,700 and high of $280,300. You will find lots of the stretched versions around $50,000 or less. How much for this one? Good guess. Looks like it was just parked and forgotten with a group of unremarkable vehicles. Would make for an interesting restoration project and a fun ride. The body’s not in bad shape but will need some work as will the interior.

An electrifying sports coupe

My buddy and I had just finished lunch at a McDonalds in Lomira, WI and spotted two cool black cars parked next to each other near the back of the lot. One, a 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo, the other, this bad boy. I had to hop out and take a closer look, one because it was so cool looking, and two, I had no idea what it was. A Beemer? Nope. A Fisker Karma.

In case you have forgotten, and I did, here’s a little refresher.  Fisker produced the Karma and it was one of the world’s first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The Karma debuted in Detroit at the 2008 North American International Auto Show when Tesla was just getting going with its Model S. Deliveries began in 2011 but Production was suspended in November 2012 when its battery supplier, A123 Systems, declared bankruptcy. Just over 2,400 cars were built at its manufacturing plant in Delaware which used to be owned by General Motors.

In February 2014, Fisker Automotive’s Karma vehicle design, tooling and a manufacturing facility in Delaware were purchased by Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group who really wanted the battery side of the business. Founder Henrik Fisker, hung on to the Fisker trademarks and the Fisker brand and launched a separate company, Fisker Inc, in 2016. Wanxiang later renamed its new company Karma Automotive.

This car is over the top cool and even though a couple thousand were built, they are not expensive at all to buy now. Getting them serviced, well that’s another story. A quick search of the used car sites like TrueCar.com had several listings starting at just $32,950, all the way up to $52,500 and with low miles. Not sure I would ever purchase one but they are sure cool to look at.

 

 

 

Fly to Oshkosh then drive to your hotel

If it flies, its at EAA’s AirVenture

If you have a bucket list, on it should be a trip to Oshkosh, WI for the EAA’s (Experimental Aircraft Association) AirVenture. Even if you’re not a total plane geek like me, there’s plenty to see, from vintage aircraft, homebuilts, warbirds, jets, and more.

Continue reading Fly to Oshkosh then drive to your hotel

Road America test drives

Car heaven at Road America

Nobody ever has to ask a second time if Mark and I want to attend an event at Road America. For us, the track, located in Elkhart Lake, Wis., is one of the most fun locations we visit in the automotive world. We were among the 80 plus media members from across the country given the opportunity to check out more than 90 new vehicles at the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s (MAMA) annual Spring Rally held May 23-24. Continue reading Road America test drives

For the ultimate Green Bay Packer Fan

A complete collection would have this

green bay packers, green bay packer fans, packer fans, cheeseheadsHere in Wisconsin us Cheeseheads love the Green Bay Packers. Want to get on the season ticket list to watch them play at Lambeau Field? Ya right! Get in line behind the other 133,000 that are waiting. So maybe your great great great granddaughter will actually be able to sit in the seats. Just about anything related to the Packers gets snapped up by fans.

In my days covering the team as a sportscaster in Green Bay, I saw all kinds of shrines, even some vehicles that were painted in the team colors, green and gold but never a car owned by a former player like Bart Starr’s 1967 Corvette given to him for being MVP in Super Bowl 1.

Mecum

When Bart Starr and I were on a first-name basis

On some planets what I had was a dream gig. Covering my favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers, when what amounted to a

bart starr, green bay packers, green bay packer coach, packer coach, starr
that’s me on the left looking back. So much hair then.

god, Bart Starr was the coach. Yup, living large as a television sports reporter in Green Bay, WI. Bart was such a super-nice guy even in the face of loosing seasons. In conversations we had outside the locker room, or offices, at the team headquarters, 1265 Lombardi Avenue, he never brought it up, and he knew I was a car guy. Oh I’ve got stories but this blog entry would go on forever.

Will it go to a Packer fan?

Well now that Vette is for sale and will go to the highest bidder May 19th at the Mecum Auto Auction in Indianapolis. The car was built in June of 1967 and finished at the factory in Goodwood Green. Why would it be any other color? It’s changed hands several times over the years and is listed as unrestored with mostly original paint. It

Mecum

also comes documented with the tank sticker stating: Courtesy Delivery – B. Starr. There was no value estimate from Mecum on the listing so I picked up the phone and called. They think this C2 will go in the $200,000-$225,000 range. While I never found a Vette with the identical options, I found a couple that were close. One at Hemmings, listed for $135,000, while BringATrailer.com had listings in the upper $60’s. Man I wish I had the cash.

UPDATE: Generating a high bid of $150,000 the car did not sell at the auction so Cheeseheads, you might get another shot at it.

What’s Bart doing now?

He’s been having a rough couple of years with some serious health problems including two strokes, a heart attack, a broken hip, bronchial and sinus infection. At 84 he had several stem cell treatments and his wife Cherry says he gets better every day.

Evan Siegle/Packers.com

 

 

 

2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Muddy Fun

Muddy fun for a Jeep geek

2018 jeep wrangler unlimited, jeep, wrangler, wrangler unlimitedFull disclosure: I’ve been a Jeep guy for a very long time having first driven the SJ Cherokee back in the late 70’s.

I was forwarded on and email from my blogging partner, Mark Savage, who received an invitation from the Jeep people but couldn’t make it to an event. I was all over it and jumped at the chance, along with other media folks, to discover the off roading capabilities on the new JL Wrangler at Cliff’s Insane Terrain Off Road Park in Marseilles, IL.

This latest rendition created a lot of buzz prior to its release earlier this year, maybe even more than the last redesign in 2006.  All kinds of speculation about what the JL would have and maybe not have. No worries off roaders, the Jeep guys were all over this from the start.  Continue reading 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Muddy Fun

Trans Am racing on a budget

I was into Trans Am racing almost from the start

Laguna Seca poster hanging next to my slot car track

Being raised in a car family how couldn’t I be? I wasn’t there at the start on March 25, 1966 when the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) kicked it off at Sebring International Raceway but picked it up a couple of years later when American Motors started racing Javelins against the Mustangs, Cameros, Challengers, and Barracudas. There were some great racers like A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Peter Reveson, George Follmer, Swede Savage (no relation to Mark), and Mark Donohue. Since AMC was backing Donohue I got to see and meet him a couple of times when he raced at Road America. Fun times! And then it all sort of went away. Continue reading Trans Am racing on a budget

Car sounds: Music to my ears

A musical instrument now in your garage

Chances are you, or somebody you know, growing up as a child had to take music lessons because mom and dad wanted you to. It could have been the violin, or piano, or french horn. I mention french horn because that is what our daughter Meg learned to play and she Continue reading Car sounds: Music to my ears