Tag Archives: eaa

Missing my car guy on Father’s Day

My dad made me the car freak I am today

This coming Father’s Day will be my first without my dad as he passed away February 14th. At his funeral, I did the eulogy, and after rewriting it a couple of times, decided to go with a car theme comparing his qualities to the window sticker on a car, one produced by American Motors where he worked for 27 years.

While going through pictures to display at his funeral, I found a bunch with the cars that were part of growing up. It also jogged my memory of things we did, or places we went over the years that I will fondly remember like the following.

Traveling to Kenosha for the American Motors Owners Association homecoming event where there were hundreds of Nash, Rambler, and AMC cars that were built there over the years. We never did buy a car but did purchase rare promotional model cars we were missing from our collections.

Photo: Kenosha News

When I was in high school nearby the AMC National Parts Distribution Center, I would come and meet dad for my ride home. Many times he was tied up in some meeting so I would head down to the Tech Center and see what cars they had in torn apart, many times seeing AMC cars that were a year or so from production. It was the tech service guys that gave me a manual to help me figure out how to install an engine in my 1970 AMX after blowing up the 390 that came with it. Those tech guys were great!

Dad was also there when i decided to hop up my 1972 Gremlin by replacing the exhaust manifold with high performance headers. How’d that work out? Not so good.

Photo: FCA archives

When AMC sponsored Mark Donahue’s Trans-Am Javelin and raced at Road America in the early 70’s, the Chicago Zone Office chartered busses for employees and set up a tent by turn 14. We always made the trip. It was so much fun. We’d get a ride on the track in a Javelin and Roger Penske and Donahue would swing by the tent to sign autographs. I grabbed this flag from the event one year and today display it on my slot car track which is a replica of Road America.

Related: Read about my blogging partner, Mark Savage, and our recent trip to Road America.

Until dad had problems getting around, we would spend a day up in Oshkosh at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture event. He loved seeing the WWII vintage aircraft he was familiar with having served in the army during that time.

Fond memories. Happy Father’s Day dad. I be thinking about you.

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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

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.  Continue reading One week in horsepower heaven at EAA

I’m a gear head and propeller head

The biggest roar of engines you will ever hear!

eaa airventure 2016, eaa, oshkosh wi, airplanes, jets, And one of the few places you will hear them is where I was this week, AirVenture 2016 in Oshkosh, WI. I’m sure I’m not alone where I say that I get excited hearing a car like a new Corvette jump on the throttle as it comes out of a turn. Well take that feeling and multiply it by, let’s say 10! And if you think a Hellcat Charger at 700 hp is a lot, multiply that by about four and you have the horsepower of many of the engines in the warbirds up here, even more for the jets. In case you’re not familiar with the event it is the largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world, held every year in Oshkosh, and hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The event, which began on July 24th and runs through July 31st, spans the entire spectrum of aviation. It attracts 10,000 airplanes and more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from all over the world. If you haven’t I would highly encourage you to come to this event just once. It is a hoot. Continue reading I’m a gear head and propeller head