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Posts from the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

9
Feb

2018 Chicago Auto Show: New vehicles big and small

It’s the largest show in North America

Mark and I love this show and have been making the trip down south from Milwaukee for a long time. Besides seeing the latest from the auto manufacturers, we spend time catching up with our fellow reporters. And we got some exercise walking two miles in the one million square foot exhibit area at McCormick Place. Read more

7
Feb

Amazon Prime: Paradise for car enthusiasts

A benefit I didn’t even know about in the beginning

All Photos: Amazon unless noted

Like the millions of other families all over the world we became Amazon Prime subscribers because of the special deals and many times free shipping. But it wasn’t until my wife and I gave each other a brand new 65 inch smart TV for Christmas which just happened to be an Amazon Prime Fire Edition. I was just excited about getting the TV because it is UHD and would be great for watching football games but after setting it up found motorhead city, all for just $99 a year. I now do a lot of binge watching.

My favorite show, The Grand Tour

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2
Jan

Lego crash test

You can build anything from Legos

I love building things with Lego’s larger Technic line because it lets me feel like a real engineer. With this line I can build things that move, like cars. I’d run crash tests, view the results on the video, maybe move some blocks around and try it again. It was fun but never as elaborate as what Germany’s Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club, their version of our AAA, did with their large-scale Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

 

30
Aug

Jeepless for the 1st time in 30 years and the quest for 71 inches

Jeepless in Pewaukee

Photo: Jeep Blog

For those of you who have not read my posts before, I love Jeeps! My love affair began in 1970 when American Motors purchased The Jeep Corporation from Kaiser Industries. My dad worked for AMC at the time at its National Parts Distribution Center in Milwaukee, WI. so now I would receive employee pricing on Jeeps. Dad was the first family member to hop on when he purchased a Cherokee Wagoneer in 1988 exactly like the one in the picture. This wasn’t the larger SJ version but the XJ built on the new Cherokee platform introed by AMC in 1984 and over its 17-year run, just under three million were sold. This was ground-breaking stuff at the time essentially kicking off the SUV segment. Later on, mom wanted something easier to get in and out of and he sold this Jeep to me. That started a relationship that would last a very long time. Read more »

27
Aug

World’s fastest ??????????

The need for speed

Photo: Hennessey

Show of hands, who likes to go fast? Relax, nobody’s going to tell. I’d be in the group and have had my 2007 Suzuki Hayabusa up to 130 mph. There was plenty left too because I’m told it will go 186. The Busa was the fastest production motorcycle at one time but today, that title goes to the Kawasaki H2R street version which will go 206 mph. When automakers throw cost and reason out the window, they come up with the Hennessey Venom GT which will go will go 270 mph. But that’s slow compared to the Thrust SSC, 771 which is a super-sonic, jet-propelled car crossing the speed trap at  763.035 mph in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada in 1997. Heck there’s even a bike, not a motorcycle, which can go just under 90 mph.

Yup, we like our “fast” in just about anything on wheels, even sheds. Leave it to a guy from Great Britain, where just Read more »

31
Jul

One week in horsepower heaven at EAA

From the 1,500 hp P-51 Mustang to 100 hp ultralights

That’s what you’ll see each year at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) AirVenture held each year on the last week of July. This year’s event was the 23rd to the 30th and I sped by for me, well, like Boeing’s B-1B did while making high-speed passes. This year the crowd seemed to be up over last year’s 560,000 attendance. UPDATE: EAA announced this this afternoon that attendance hit 600,000, a new record. This was my ninth year as a volunteer giving future aviators hands-on experience with radio control airplanes. I met people from all over the U.S. plus Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Paraguay.  Read more »

28
Jun

Small scale slot car track with big details

The ultimate experience for F1 fanatics

Slot Mods USA creates what could be considered the holy grail of slot car layouts for racers. I’m in for sure on that. These guys create over the top layouts which are all hand-crafted and museum quality. They create slot car tracks from vintage to modern-day circuits. The layouts guys like me and Mark dream about. Slot Mods crafts each layout utilizing styrofoam and construction-grade lumber, plus materials like marble, leather or exotic hardwoods. The details are amazing and looked after by everyone from fabricators to model artists. Slot Mods seems to keep crafting ones that are better and better each time. Their latest is an F1-commissioned build of the Canadian Grand Prix. Read more »

31
May

Plug and Play Motorcycles

Electric fun on two wheels

Photo: Alta

It’s not just the auto industry that has made major breakthroughs in electric power, so as the motorcycle industry. In less than a decade electric motorcycles have gone from garage-built prototypes ones that rival gas-powered superbikes (bike with 1,000 CC and above engines). While power isn’t a problem, they suffer the same shortcomings as their four-wheel cousins, lack of range. Now in 0-60 times, it’s a whole different story. Read more »

19
May

From the captain’s chair to the cockpit

Warp factor 9, engage

By Paul Daniel

Video screen grab from Redshirts Always Die

From the Captain’s chair to driver’s seat. I love this because I’m a huge Trek and racing fan. Hollywood star Sir Patrick Stewart, Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), will contest the celebrity race at the Silverstone Classic in July in an Austin A35. The Star Trek actor competed in the event when it was run using Morgans in 2012, finishing ninth in a race won by Emmerdale actor and later British Touring Car Championship racer Kelvin Fletcher. Read more »

17
May

Goodyear’s sphere of influence

Tires might be more than just round with a hole in it

Photo: Goodyear

Goodyear has unveiled a new concept: spherical rubber tires that can move in any direction. OK, that’s cool, by why you ask. These new kicks are made for the self-driving cars of the future, ones that won’t have steering wheels. Sounds like a Disney ride. The Goodyear Eagle-360 tires would allow those self-driving cars to tuck into tight spaces like parking spots. Read more »

4
May

The crazy stuff people put on their cars

After all they are their cars

Jeep Wrangler, jeep wrangler unlimited, jeep with top down.

Photo: FCA

I love our 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It sometimes feels like an extension of who I am but not so much that I go crazy and start putting really crazy stuff on it. BTW, I am crazy.  Just like people dress themselves each morning to make themselves comfortable, and to also perhaps make some kind of statement, they also dress their cars with different things to make a statement. A statement of what? New wheels, wider tires, driving lights, yes, eyelashes, fake hood scoops, gigantic spoilers, not so much. While I couldn’t find a breakdown for “stupid stuff”, overall the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures is projecting retail online sales for aftermarket parts at $8.89 billion in 2017, posting a 16% increase over 2016. And that’s just the online, not brick and mortar. Let’s dig deeper into the crazy stuff people put on their cars, much of it seem right here in the Milwaukee, WI area. Read more »

26
Mar

Mario Andretti: One of the nicest guys I ever met

I was a regular at Road America

Lola race cars, savageonwheels.comWhile doing sports on Green Bay TV during the 80’s and 90’s I had some fantastic opportunities to meet really interesting people. Sure, all the Green Bay Packer players of that era, but my main passion was auto racing. Anytime there was anything going on at Road America, I was down there. I loved being there and still do.

On the list of nice guys were Roger Penske, Walter Payton, and Tom Cruise. He’s a short guy. The nicest on that list, and also short, was Mario Andretti. I interviewed him a bunch of times and it was like we had known each other for ever. Check out this story on Mario done a week ago today on CBS Sunday Morning. Enjoy.

24
Mar

Getting the media’s attention

I wish I had come up with this idea

Bob and Brian Plane Pull, Extreme Plane Pull, Media Events, public relations Back in my public relations days I knew the media in the Milwaukee market really well. I was the only PR professional that specifically designed events that were just about slam dunks in getting the media out. How’d I do it? By designing unusual things that participants normally couldn’t do and then invite the media out to try it ahead of time.

I remember two events that were a lot of fun, one especially since one was centered around aviation. Here’s a live interview I did on one of the TV stations’ morning show. The other one was an Urban Adventure race, sort of like the Amazing Race on CBS, where I repelled four stories while doing a live interview at the same time. That was a rush.

Toyota Hilux, Toyota trucks, tamiya radio control trucks, radio control trucks, pr events Now I’m on the other side of the fence…

…and found this video where 15 radio control trucks work together to pull a full-size Toyota Hilux. This wasn’t their first time to this rodeo. They staged a slightly different version in the 80’s. Hats off to your PR staff Toyota. You definitely got my attention along with lots of other outlets.

 

15
Mar

A Jeep gets stuck and gets unstuck, mostly

No newsflash there because it happens everyday

Just because there are those of us like me who drive Jeeps doesn’t mean we don’t get stuck every once in a while. Hey we have the most capable 4×4 ever so we’re going to push the envelope. Count on that. Getting stuck is one story while getting out is another like this dude who went in the mud with one Jeep Wrangler and came out with two. This is a classic video of how not to pull a Jeep stuck in the mud.

15
Mar

When Station Wagons roamed the plains like the buffalo

See if you can relate to this. Summer trips with the fam

american motors, amc, amc station wagons, amc cross country wagons, station wagonsIt’s the mid 70’s or 80’s when the whole family piled into the family wagon to go on vacation. It could have been west like I did with my family in our 1967 Rebel Cross Country wagon. Almost identical to this one I found in the classified sporting the same Strato Blue Metalic color. Yup, I have all kinds of stuff still rattling around in my brain. Mom, Dad, and my two younger sisters went to Yosemite to see Old Faithful and stuff like that and Read more »

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