Jeepless in Pewaukee
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
The need for speed
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
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
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
Electric fun on two wheels
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
Warp factor 9, engage
By Paul Daniel
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
Tires might be more than just round with a hole in it
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
After all they are their cars
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
I was a regular at Road America
While 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.
I wish I had come up with this idea
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.
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.
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.
See if you can relate to this. Summer trips with the fam
It’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
Cool new cars and fun stuff to do
Going to the Chicago Auto Show is one of our favorite trips of the year because we always have a great time. This year was no different. We captured some of it in the two videos below. If you’ve been thinking about going, and we recommend it, get a long little doggie, because it runs through February 20th.
A tale of two companies
It all began almost 67 years to the date in a closed down pub in London where an industrial die-casting company, Lesney, was born, leading to a huge collector market for metal 1/64th scale model cars. Lesney is the creator of Matchbox vehicles. The name itself came into being when one of the owners’ daughters wanted to bring a toy to school but the school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox so a scaled down version of a Lesney model went with her to school. Thinking they might have something, they used the one-0ff creation, the idea of selling a model of a vehicle small enough to fit into the size of a matchbox. Matchbox was born and propelled Lesney to worldwide, mass-market success. Read more
It will take some deep, deep pockets
This 38,000-square-foot mansion is located in Bel Air, California. It has 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, three kitchens, six bars, a massage room, a fitness center, two wine and champagne cellars, and a 40-person home theater. One of my favorites is the 85-foot infinity pool complete with its own 20-foot TV on a hydraulic lift. I can just imagine the pool parties I would have when the Green Bay Packers play. Sadly not anymore this season.
What’s in it for the car guy?
Well I’ll tell you. It comes with a $30 million car collection parked right in the home. When’s the last time your wife let you park your collector car in the house? Included in the collection are cars we can only dream about like a faster than snot Pagani Huayra, a Rolls-Royce, a Bugatti, and a vintage Allard. OK, the cost. Are you sitting down? $250 Million. That’s $250,000,000. Lots of zeros. Let me know when one of you guys buy it and Mark and I will be your two newest best friends. Read more and be sure to watch the videos.