Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Here contributing editor Paul Daniel blogs about just anything that’s on his mind about cars or maybe something else. Fun Stuff.

Cool car guys I’ve met

Up close and personal

TV 11, WLUK, green bay, wi., road america, indy 500, race drivers

My days as a TV sports reporter in Green Bay provided me with opportunities others dream about. Almost all of them came because I spent lots of time at my favorite place, Road America, located about an hour south of Green Bay. I loved when there was a race coming up because it meant I’d be down there a bunch of times that weekend. Nobody else in the Green Bay television market covered motorsports like I did. I loved it. I got to interview some cool car guys. While some people might be intimidated by their names, I’d just walked up to them, videographer in tow, and asked them if I could chat with them. Hey they put their pants on the same way I do, one leg at a time. The only one who turned me down was Bobby Rahal who was having a crappy practice day at Road America. So here are the ones that did talk to me and I still remember to this day. Continue reading Cool car guys I’ve met

Pull over, I need to get to a phone….

Life before iPhones

If you’re 50-60 “ish”, you will get a great laugh at this blog entry. “I need to get to a phone.” or “Pull over, I need to get to a phone”, were phrases everybody used. Almost always said at least once on detective shows like ‘Starsky & Hutch’ (1976 Ford Gran Torino), ‘Kojak’ (1973 Buick Century Regal 455), and ‘Mannix’ (originally drove a custom Toronado convertible made by George Barris’ shop, then early 70’s Dart GTS, then a ‘Cuda). Had to toss the cars in. If you’re a millennial then this will be a history lesson before we became so connected. I told my 16-year-old daughter about what I was going to blog about and she was amazed. Continue reading Pull over, I need to get to a phone….

My other passion

Eaa, oshkosh, whitman field, airventure 15How can that be? You’re a car guy.

Well I’m also a huge airplane guy. I just spent five days in Oshkosh, WI at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) as a volunteer helping kids discover radio control aviation. My daughter also volunteered with me this year. My passion for planes began when I was young. I wanted to be a pilot for Pan Am. Boy am I dating myself. But it wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I did something, getting my private ticket. The Pan Am dream fell by the wayside, mostly because they went out of business, and two, I was happy flying Cessna 152’s and 172’s.

I love speed!

And if you think about it, cars are fast and airplanes are even faster. That means I like the jets but I also like the WWII era fighters and bombers. Many of them can move at a decent clip. In Oshkosh you see it all. AirVenture, which ended this past Sunday brings aviation enthusiasts from all over the world, more than 500,000. Of course there are cars there, Ford is a huge sponsor and had their new GT-40 on display. Outside there were some vintage Mustangs (the car), and right next to them are Roush Mustangs. Jack Roush is a pilot. Last year he crashed his corporate jet on final at EAA but everybody was OK. This year he created an Apollo themed Mustang for an auction to raise funds for EAA’s youth programs. Continue reading My other passion

Drivers who really annoy me…..

…and the cars they drive

 

I’m really a patient guy except when it comes to getting from point A to point B either in one of our cars, 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, our 2008 Chrysler Pacifica (we really love that car and wish it was still being made), or my Suzuki Hayabusa. I experience more bad drivers on my bike than in the car or the Jeep, mostly because drivers don’t respect motorcycles. I really think that over half of the drivers are bad with you of course being in the good group, I hope. See if you can relate to any of my experiences. I have even categorized them so here we go.

Cloggers

Vehicles driven: Buick, Cadillac, Prius, Leafs, dump trucks

Drivers who don't know the light it green, bad drivers, clueless driversroad cloggersThese are the people, who for some reason, don’t know what the speed limit is, that they can actually go that speed, and maybe even five mph over. Some just poke along in the left hand lane. I think there must be some sort of governor built-in their car. The Prius and Leaf drivers are notorious for this and maybe are trying to save the planet. But Cloggers are not limited to cars, Dump trucks are HUGE cloggers. They take off from a stop signal so slow and take for ever to get up to speed. I’m thinking of petitioning Wisconsin to limit their travel to times when I’m not on the road like 11 pm-7 am. Only kidding if you drive one of these beasts. Cloggers are also the people who sit at the light when it turns green. Hello! Green means go. Go now, go! Continue reading Drivers who really annoy me…..

Caddy Hot Tub

caddilac, vintage caddilac, caddy, hot tub caddy, savageonwheelsA Caddy with an option you would never find

I love Caddy’s and who doesn’t? They were famous for lots of chrome and the fins. The new ones are even cooler with all the performance built-in. I also love hot tubs. Wait, where is he going on this you’re thinking. Check out the video where two of my faves are combined. What fun!

 

 

 

Cool Vids: A commercial we all can relate to.

I saved up for that______ (name of car goes here) for a long time

A friend of mine forwarded me this Corvette spot. One of the best I have seen in a long time. Look in the mirror because I bet a lot of you can relate to it if you ever saved up for that special car.

 

 

 

 

Jeep Power

That four letter word that starts with an “S” came early.

jeep wrangler unlimited, jeep, south bend IN, 4wdI can’t even mention the word and I live in Wisconsin. How about those folks in Buffalo who have been buried with feet of snow? I drive a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited so this video caught my eye. South Bend, IN. always get lots of snow because of Lake Michigan. Take for example this morning. Even the trucks got stuck and in this case a Jeep was there to help out. Go Jeep!!!

On November 7th, 1965 he went 576 MPH

I can go faster

Guys were essentially taking large jet engines and build a car around it to break speed records in the mid 60’s. Art Arfons was one of the big names with his Green Monster which at one time was the world’s fastest car. His competition came from Craig Breedlove. This was pretty cool stuff and each driver was out to top the other.

The Rube Goldberg of land speed record cars

Art Arfons Green Monster, world speed records, Craig Breedlove, Bonneville Salt flatsArfons was the ultimate gear head shade-tree mechanic from Akron, Ohio who started building drag racers so powerful they got him banned from sanctioned events mainly powered by jet engines he scrounged the U.S. Air Force considered worthless. Listen to his secret.

Born on February 3, 1926, he started with his Green Monster dragsters powered by piston and jet engines. Feeling the need for more speed, more speed, he took it up a notch with his turbine-powered speed cars. He held the world land speed record holder three times from 1964 to 1965. It was on November 7th, 1965 that went 576 mph and never as able to beat it. He was announced as a 2008 inductee in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame three days after his death.

The first person in history to reach 400, 500, and 600 mph

AMX, Art Arfons Green Monster, world speed records, Craig Breedlove, Bonneville Salt flatsI remember Craig Breedlove even better. Beyond the records he set on the Bonneville salt flats, he also set records for American Motors. Hired in 1968 to prepare AMC’s pony and high-performance cars, Javelin and AMX, for speed and endurance records which he set. From my collection, this is one of the ads AMC ran to promote the records.

Back to the jets

Breedlove’s competition came from not only Art but his brother Walt. Breedlove’s response was more engine power upping the record to 468.72 mph and then to 526.28 mph making him the first man to exceed 500 mph. 

Art Arfons Green Monster, world speed records, Craig Breedlove, Bonneville Salt flatsBlueflame, Art Arfons Green Monster, world speed records, Craig Breedlove, Bonneville Salt flatsI remember this pass because one of Breedlove’s drogue parachute‘s shroud lines parted, and Spirit of America ran on for five miles before just missing a telephone pole and coming to rest in a lake. This record stood all of twelve days before Green Monster broke it, recording a two-run average of 536.71 mph. Back and forth they went. Arfons did is 576 run then Breedlove responded with 600.601 mph. Now let’s throw in Gary Gabelich‘s Blue Flame (top right). In 1970 he broke Breedlove’s record running 630.388 mph. After that things shifted Art Arfons Green Monster, world speed records, Craig Breedlove, Bonneville Salt flatsinto low gear for Breedlove. He took a break to sell houses and then returned in 1996 with Spirit of America Formula Shell LSRV (right) pumping out 22,650 British Thrust SSC, craig breedlove, spirit of america, art arfons, green moster, land speed records.pounds of thrust but crashed on his first run at about 675 mph. Wow! Enter the British ThrustSSC  which then went over 700 mph. Breedlove made one more attempt after repairing his car and thinking it could do 800 but the best he could go was 676 mph and that was pretty much all she wrote. There were some attempts by other drivers after that but nothing like what happened during this period.

The need for speed

It’s not just the auto manufactures

nic case, world's fastest r/c carRadio controlled guys are into it too. Already know that the radio controlled jets will do about 225. What do you think the fastest car is? 100? Not even close. After several attempts, remote-control car enthusiast Nic Case has finally built an electric-powered car that passed 200 mph, possibly setting a new land speed record for R/C cars. Not talking scale but actual speed here, meaning Case’s R/C car, nicknamed the Bullet, will be able to put many life-sized high-performance cars to shame. Check out the video.

Cool Video: Walter Payton at Road America

Meeting Sweetness at Road Amerca

As a sportscaster in Green Bay, WI during the 80’s, I had the opportunity to meet some great great people. One of them was former Chicago Bear great Walter Payton. I met up with him at Road America where he had started his second career in racing. Click on the image to see the story.walter payton_nfl greats_road america_chicago bears