Mark and I get to drive some really cool cars but never the STP Lotus Type 56. An AutoWeek reporter did. Boy there’s not much we wouldn’t do to get a ride in that bad boy. I loved the STP turbines and Andy Granatelli. I am also a big fan of Parnelli Jones who came just a couple of laps shy of winning the 1967 Indy 500 had it not been for a $6 part. This really freaked out the Indy establishment that an engine with no pistons could win their race and slapped on some intake restrictions so it couldn’t do it again. That didn’t bother Granatelli who called on Colin Chapman to build the Type 56 Lotus, the car you see here. Unlike the ’67 turbine where the turbine sat next to Jones, the design had the turbine located behind the driver instead of next to him making the Lotus go faster.
You could drive it but….
You’d have to come up with at least a half a million bucks because that’s the neighborhood the gavel will drop at the Barrett-Jackson Auction January 17th in Scottsdale, AZ. Even if Mark and I both sold our homes and everything else we would still be short of the winning bid. Plus, if we did win it, we’d pretty much be sleeping by it in some storage shed. Bummer.
That four letter word that starts with an “S” came early.
I 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!!!
According to Motor Trend this is the vehicle that best represents exceptional value, superiority in its class and most significant development on the 2015 new car scene. In all there were 42 contenders and as you can see from this image you might be scratching your head like me when MT picked the 2015 Volkswagen Golf as the winner. Really? The winner is chosen in the following criteria:
Advancement in Design
Quality execution of exterior and interior styling; innovation in vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
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.
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
I 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.
I 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 into 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 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.
Think of the last time you heard sirens and pulled over (You did pull over?) for an ambulance to pass you. Looked like any other ambulance, right? Truck based, big and boxy. But if you traveled to Dubai, you would see this Lotus Evora with lights and sirens on. Heck, I’d try to follow it but would need a really fast car.
It’s official my and Mark’s slot car tracks are crap
When I worked with Mark at Kalmbach Publishing he and a couple of other guys there got me into slot car racing. They gave me one crappy car and I was hooked. What car guy wouldn’t be? I was sucked in and started buying more cars off eBay. Most of the other guys I raced with had tracks and of course I had to build one. Mine is a much smaller replica of Road America, a track Mark and I both love and have driven on multiple times. I was happy with it until I saw this track pictured on the left. Continue reading For the car guy who has everything→
Dodge’s new Hellcat is one hell of a car! With a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and will hit 60 in around 3.6 seconds. Wow that’s fast! Think how fast you could get to your bank to take a loan out to buy it. How much will you need? The most-powerful production sedan ever starts at $63,995. Car guys are all over this car. Vin #0001 Stryker Red 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat recently went for $825,000 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Vegas. After matching contributions from a local foundation, a total of $1.65M, more than any other charity vehicle in Barrett Jackson history, was raised. Pretty scary, right?
Be the first on your block to have one
Wellllllllll, not exactly. But you could be the first one to have a Hellcat image carved on your Halloween pumpkin. For real. The guys at WeRMopar.com did all the R and D so all you have to do is the carving. I’m all over this! Maybe I’ll add the sweet sounds of the real deal revving up its engine or maybe doing a burnout. Dodge has already created a ringtone. You in? Make sure you share your pumpkin on our Facebook page.
I can think of a couple, the first one introduced in 1964 1/2, 1965 Shelby GT350, 1968 Shelby GT 500KR (I love the convertible!), and for sure soon to be a future icon is Eleanor from the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. One of three of the original Eleanor Mustang hero cars is heading to auction at Mecum’s Austin 2014 auction, December 12th and 13th. What will it go for? If this is any indication, in May of last year, another Eleanore sold for $1M at a Mecum auction. A Million Bucks!!!!!! I could sell all my stuff and still wouldn’t be close. This car is beyond cool. Check out more on the car.
There, now I feel better, it’s out there. I’ve gone road hunting in CJ’s that still hurt my back, but it was still fun! I have owned a 1986 four-door Wagoneer (XJ), then a 1996 Grand Cherokee (ZJ), a Liberty (KJ). Designed by Diamler at the time and not my favorite because it was way to top-heavy as you can see here after an Illinois driver on his cell phone clipped me. I walked away.
It’s the only vehicle I have exited through the sun roof. We currently area about to purchase our 2011 Wrangler Unlimited (JK) off our lease and I can’t wait to start making it more our Jeep. First thing I’m going to do is put a cold air intake to give it some zip. I have been to Camp Jeeps at both the Chicago and Milwaukee auto shows. Milwaukee was the better ride. Check out the videos from my rides. Yup, all in.
It was when American Motors, where my dad worked, bought Kaiser’s money-losing Jeep operations in 1970 that I started to dig into the history of the Jeep brand. AMC was hurting at the time and this was a big gamble for them but the Jeep utility vehicles complemented AMC’s passenger car business. Actually it saved the company. AMC was able to share components, achieving volume efficiencies, as well as capitalizing on Jeep’s international and government markets.
It created the Sport Utility market
The four-door Jeep Wagoneer (SJ) set the pace as it was the first luxury 4×4 sold and produced from 1963 to 1991, nearly 30 years before the term SUV was in vogue. Compared to what GM, International Harvester, and Land Rover were offering at the time, it was the Wagoneer’s luxury that set the bar. Adding to success of the Wagoneer, and it’s two-door version Cherokee AMC introduced in 1973 was the Quadra-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system which attracted even more people to Jeep products who wanted four-wheel-drive traction without the inconvenience of a manual-shift transfer case and manual locking hubs.
The Wagoneer Limited you see in these images which later morphed into the Grand Wagoneer, had the whole deal, deep pile carpeting, advanced overhead cam inline six and then later a monster AMC 401 V8 engine, auto transmission, power windows, a/c, power steering, power brakes, an independent front suspension and yes, real wood outlining the fake vinyl wood as you can see in this example which I think is a 1981. It’s a little on the rough side but there are lots of places that specialize in full restorations like GrandWagoneer.com. The vehicle still has a following even though the last Grand Wagoneer rolled off Chrysler’s Toledo assembly plant on June 21, 1991. Now that Fiat owns Jeep there were images floating around showing a modern version of the Grand Wagoneer which I have heard won’t come on the market for another couple of years.
I would love to have a Grand Wagoneer to show off to the people I know who drive Cadillac Escalades or Range Rovers. Sure buddy, one on one! I made a trip to one of my favorite sites, Hemmings, and found Grand Wagoneers from the mid-20’s to all the way up to 50 grand like this one. Have you looked at the current prices of the Caddy or Rover?
So what if you don’t have the cash?
Surprisingly with such a long run, you’d thing there would have been a promo model made but it never happened, however this Grand Wagoneer produced by AutoArt is a great alternative. I picked up this 1/18th scale diecast about five years ago for around $100. Even though AutoArt has stopped producing them, they pop up on eBay except for the white one which is nearly impossible to find. Check out the details on this. All the doors open, along with the hood and rear lift gate. The interior has real carpeting and upholstery. Check out the engine bay. I love looking at this. I keep hoping that someday there will be a way to take it and scale it up into the real deal.
I love American Motors’ products. Part of my sickness comes from my dad working for the company. Sure they had the clunkers but also had some cool cars. Dad brought home tons of stuff and now it’s time to thin things out a bit.
My collection includes full-line catalogues mostly from the 70’s and 80’s. Dad would bring them home, I’d page through them and throw them in a box. I even have some super-rare Press Kits.
My promo model collects has a little bit of everything. What I’m offering up are a couple of Javelins, AMX’s, and an Ambassador still with the hood ornament on it. Rare. So check out this micro site I put up and then let’s talk.