Friday, December 17, 2010

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

More than a quality rotisserie restoration, this incredible 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door hardtop is a work of high craftsmanship, a rolling showcase for the talents of renowned ’55-’57 Chevy expert NuNu Lowry, who spent countless hours and over $115,000.00 on a solid, original car to achieve its final look, ride, and drive.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bob Glidden's Pro Stock Pinto

Bob Glidden’s Pro Stock Pinto holds a very special place in drag racing history. It won twenty NHRA National events and World Championships in 1974, ’75 and ‘78, a record no other Pro Stocker of that period even came close to matching.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Serial #1

A straightforward driver’s machine with a 327/365 HP small block under the hood and a 4-speed close at hand, the first production 1965 Corvette, serial number 001, is finished in Silver Pearl with a complementary Silver interior. Finned aluminum knock-off wheels shod with White wall tires provide a truly classic look; interior appointments include a teakwood steering wheel and AM/FM radio.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Breadvan

I paid my fourth visit to the Monterey Historics in the Ferrari year of 1994. One afternoon in Laguna Seca's hot pits I came face to face with the one and only Ferrari 250 GTO "Breadvan", a fascinating anomaly in the marque's history. I don't recall when I first learned of its existence, let alone its significance, but there it was, large as life, and I had a good close look at it while Monte Shelton sat at the wheel waiting to go racing.

The memory of that encounter was prompted by Stephen Mitchell's article, Ferrari 250 GTO vs. Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan in this week's Sports Car Digest, wherein Mitchell reviews his "friend Marc Sonnery’s book 'Rebel Rebel' which deals with the life and times of the Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan".

I look forward to reading "Rebel Rebel". In the meantime, Mr. Mitchell's tale is a delight 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Florence Knudsen's 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

It was not always just the GM execs who were given factory-customized rides; witness Marian Mitchell’s show-stopping 1967 big block convertible. Close on the heels of Bunkie Knudson’s Rose Pearl factory special (also available as Lot S70) is this stunning Pink Pearl 1964 coupe gifted to Knudson’s wife Florence, who drove the car in the comfort of its customized matching Pink leather interior, harnessing its 396 CI engine under a bulging 1965-style hood in what may well have been the first big block Vette produced. A great touch: the finned aluminum knock-off wheels sporting “Pinkwall” tires.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mecum Auctioning The Motor Yacht Elegante

Mecum Auction is holding a very special event on October 30, 2010 at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, where they will offer the one and only Elegante. A one-of-a-kind creation of the Whiticar company, the Motor Yacht Elegante was commissioned by John Hay "Jock" Whitney, a multimillionaire sportsman whose multifaceted career included roles as a publisher, financier, philanthropist, and horse breeder.

Based upon Whiticar's sportfish hull design, the 63' Elegante exhibits exceptional stability in rough seas while enjoying a top speed of 24 knots. It will comfortably sleep 4 people while hosting up to 25 for day and sunset cruises. It sports all the appointments one would expect in a custom made yacht.

This exceptional craft will be offered at auction during the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show on October 30, 2010. The auction location is the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, B-Dock, Slip 223 and will commence at 3:00 PM Eastern.

John Hay “Jock” Whitney
Born Aug. 27, 1904 in Ellsworth, Maine, John Hay “Jock” Whitney was a multimillionaire sportsman whose multifaceted career included roles as a publisher, financier, philanthropist, and horse breeder. He was a descendant of William Bradford, who arrived in America on the Mayflower; his parents were Payne Whitney and Helen Hay Whitney, and his grandfathers were William C. Whitney and John Hay, both presidential cabinet members.

Whitney attended Yale University where, like his father, grandfather and great uncle, he joined the rowing crew, allegedly coining the term “crew cut” to describe the team’s regulation haircut. After graduating from Yale in 1926 he briefly attended Oxford University before returning home after his father’s death to manage the family business.

Jock Whitney also inherited his family’s love of horses. By 1924 Whitney was an internationally ranked polo player, remaining a member of the celebrated Greentree polo team until its breakup in 1940. Along with his sister, Joan Whitney Payson, he managed Greentree Stables and, in 1928, became the youngest member ever elected to the Jockey Club.

Whitney’s interest in the arts prompted him to invest in a number of Broadway productions, most notably in the hugely successful Life with Father, and in the film industry. He was a key investor in Pioneer Pictures, famous for its successful advancement of Technicolor, and in the Selznick International Motion Picture Company, playing a crucial role in securing the pre-publication screen rights to the novel Gone with the Wind. He was a founding trustee of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and eventually built one of the finest personal art collections in the country.

U.S. involvement in World War II prompted Whitney to join the Army Air Force as an intelligence officer assigned to the Office of Strategic Services. He was captured by the Germans in southern France, but escaped when his transport train came under Allied fire; in 1945 he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

After the war, Jock founded J.H. Whitney & Co., now the oldest venture capital investment company in the U.S. In 1956 President Eisenhower appointed him U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, during which time he greatly improved Anglo-American relations, most notably during the Suez Canal crisis. Meanwhile, his company Whitney Communications Corp. invested in several television and radio stations, magazines and newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune, then the national “paper of record.” After completing his term as ambassador, Whitney returned to the U.S. to serve as the Tribune’s publisher and editor-in-chief until, to his lasting disappointment, it folded in 1966.

A lifelong philanthropist, in 1946 Whitney established the John Hay Whitney Foundation, contributing $1,000,000 annually to educational projects. In 1970, by which time he was one of the ten wealthiest people in America, he donated $15,000,000 to Yale University. John Hay “Jock” Whitney died February 8, 1982.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

A long, long time ago in an early Sixties suburb far, far away, my Dad arrived home from work one magical summer's eve at the wheel of a Silver Blue 1958 Impala two-door hardtop. He was "test driving" it, he said, an idea that immediately appealed to me with its boundless possibilities. Dad wound up choosing another more practical car in which to transport my Mom and we five kids, but by that time I was already smitten by the '58, which along with the '59 has remained one of my favorite full-size American cars.

This 1958 Chevrolet Impala 348 automatic convertible is one of 27 select vehicles from the David and Pauline Haas Collection, all of which will be offered at no reserve at the Mecum St. Charles Auction, September 16-19, 2010 at the Pheasant Run Resort.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Dueck GM Motorama Show 2010

A 1969 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car convertible shines in the Dueck GM Motorama show, August 29, 2010.

Dual cross-ram set-up on a Garnet Red original JL8-equipped 1969 Z28.
Ultra rare 1967 Conroy Pontiac "Cheetah" Beaumont Super Deluxe with 427/450 HP big block, aluminum cylinder heads, Hooker headers, safety bellhousing, M20 and 4.10 Posi 12-bolt. One of 4 known to exist of approximately 20 built. M&H racing slicks: the perfect touch. 
This 1957 Bel Air is an original 283/250 HP fuelie car, beautifully restored in the late Eighties and well maintained ever since. A steady stream of visitors proved that the '57 is still as popular as ever.
409 cubic inches, 409 horsepower and four gears. Just what Hayden Proffitt, Dave Strickler and Dyno Don Nicholson ordered in 1962 for NHRA Stock. This one has all the decals to prove it was there back in the day.
1961 Corvette from the Dueck Collection was a centerpiece of the showroom display. Beautiful.

The obligatory "wife with car" photo as Dee settles in for the day with a good overdue library book.

Oh, baby.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Dreams Of My Youth

All distilled into one quite humorous and light-hearted Corvette commercial:

See everyone on Thursday at McDonalds!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Checking In

I am presently writing for the Mecum St. Charles auction and don't have time to develop stories the way I would like, but that will come in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I will post great stuff like this beautiful chopped and customized early Fifties Buick at the Thursday night McDonald's cruise-in.

Oh, baby.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder

When Lamborghini introduced the mid-engined Miura in 1966, the automotive press turned to Ferrari in anticipation of his response. It was reasonable to expect Ferrari to adapt his hugely successful mid-engine V-12 prototype platform to road use, but he was never one to hew to others’ expectations, and at the 1968 Paris Auto Show he unveiled a brand new and stunning front-engine design, the 365 GTB/4.

Just 122 Spyder versions were built by Ferrari between 1970 and 1973, most of them for the American market. Built in December 1971, the 365 GTB/4 Spyder offered here is the 35th produced, the 25th of 96 built to U.S. specification.

Friday, July 9, 2010

This Is What It's All About

RT66 takes a time out between Lillooet and Lytton in the wilds north of Whistler, B.C.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Apache II

Founded in Watervliet, New York on 12 August 1908, the Hacker Boat Company is one of the longest-lived wooden boat companies in the world. Its founder, John Ludwig Hacker, was an extraordinary talent who has long been acknowledged as one of the world's leading naval architects and the greatest American motorboat designer of the 20th century. An accredited marine designer by the age of 22, Hacker had earned a name for himself by building a 30 foot runabout incorporating several innovations, most notably a revolutionary V-shaped hull that allowed his creation to reach speeds unheard of at the turn of the century.

In 1904, Hacker designed Au Revoir, which instantly set a world speed record; by the time he established the Hacker Boat Company, he had already built a wealthy clientele. In 1911 Hacker designed the first airplane floats (for the Wright Brothers) and the first successful stepped-hull hydroplane, the Kitty Hawk, the first to reach the “impossible” 50 mph mark on water and, between 1911 and 1915, the fastest boat in the world. A series of Kitty Hawks followed, each building on earlier design successes and in the end establishing the basic design parameters that today still define the American speedboat.

Apache II is consigned to the Mecum at Monterey Auction for sale on Saturday, August 14 at 3:10 PM.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The Shroud of Turin meets the Chrisman Brothers' Bonneville coupe Halibrand quick change rear end.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tevie's Termite Taxi

Tevie's Termite Taxi was sighted on Saturday June 26th at the Ironwood Show 'n' Shine in Richmond, B.C. The show is spearheaded and sponsored by Ed Lo, proprietor of E.D.S. Customs and a big presence at the event, and the good folks at AM650 Radio.
I hope to have more on this marvelous relic in the near future.

On a side note, my personal favorites were a happenstance pair of 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88s in convertible and 2-door hardtop Fiesta station wagon form. Big, brash and beautiful:

Chrisman Brothers Bonneville Coupe At Mecum Monterey

Several forces converged in the early post-WWII California car culture to launch it to a new level of competition and development. Founded in 1937, the Southern California Timing Association reconvened after the war and by 1949 had grown to include the Bonneville Salt Flats as an official venue for speed records; car clubs were propagating like never before, affecting intense rivalries and resulting in a new scoring system, and that same year coupes were allowed to compete for the first time in SCTA history against the more “exclusive” open roadsters. At the same time, engine technologies were advancing with the advent of the production overhead valve V-8, several versions of which could be modified with parts from a fledgling yet burgeoning speed-equipment industry.

At the center of this revolutionary maelstrom were the Chrisman brothers Art and Lloyd, whose father Everett raised them on the fabricator’s art and the craftsman’s ethos, and with them founded the Chrisman and Sons garage in Compton. The Chrismans established their reputations early on with the famed #25 dragster, the first car to reach 140 and 180 mph in the quarter mile, and a 1934 Ford coupe that hit 140 on the salt at Bonneville.

All the experience the Chrismans gained on both salt and asphalt came together in the 1930 Ford-based Bonneville racer that would set three different SCTA class records and become the template for the classic Competition Coupe that prevails to this day. Radically chopped, with a sharply laid-back windshield, mail slot windows and a slippery nose cone fabricated from two 1940 Ford hoods, the coupe was a beautifully aggressive-looking showcase for the Chrismans’ trademark technical and aesthetic skills, its mere presence enough to intimidate the competition.

Mecum Auctions has consigned the Chrisman Brothers Bonneville Coupe to the Mecum at Monterey Auction, August 13-14.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Original 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 427/435 HP 4-Speed

A Polishing Primer

With a couple of shows and a road trip approaching on the summer calendar, I've begun to investigate exterior finishing and detailing for RT66. My very first BING search netted this brand new and very informative Corvette Fever article about cut and polishing techniques as employed by Corvettes and Customs in Upland, California, written and shot by Steve Dulcich.

Having read this excellent piece, I want to learn more about coaxing show-quality lustre out of modern factory-original base/clear finishes such as that on RT66.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

UPDATE: 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB TdF at Mecum Monterey

Mecum Auctions has consigned 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Tour de France s/n 1321 to headline its second annual Mecum at Monterey Auction, August 13-14.

Le Mans and Nurburgring Winner
The Ferrari finished 3rd overall and 1st in class at Le Mans in 1959, under the Equipe Nationale Belge banner, and piloted by Jean Blaton and Leon Dernier. Earlier in the year, s/n 1321 finished 1st in class at the Nürburgring 1000Km. The car comes to auction following a long period in private hands.
[T]he name “Tour de France” signified the series of competition berlinetta 250 GT Ferraris built from 1956 to 1959, when chassis number 1321GT, flying the colors of Belgium’s Garage Francorchamps, dominated its class at the twin cathedrals of endurance racing, Le Mans and the Nürburgring. Driven by Jean Blaton (aka “Beurlys”) and Leon Dernier, the Red and Yellow coupe won 1st place in the GT class and 3rd overall at Le Mans as the No. 11 car. Earlier that same year, it took 1st place at the Nürburgring 1000 KM race.

1962 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Resto Mod

The brainchild of renowned Corvette specialist Rich Lagasse, this 1962 Corvette Resto Mod is one of the best-engineered and built of any Pro Touring Corvette, involving an investment of over $300,000 and many of the top talents in its execution.

This great Resto Mod Corvette is consigned to the Mecum at Monterey Auction for sale Friday, August 13.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1967 Corvette Convertible 427/435 HP 4-Speed

Packing its original high performance L71 427/435 HP engine, the 1967 Sting Ray convertible presented here retains its M21 4-speed and 4.11 Posi rear end. It also now has a single Holley 4-barrel on an Edelbrock aluminum intake in place of the Tri Power setup. You can check it out at the Bloomington Gold Corvette Auction for sale on Saturday June 26.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rare 1972 Chevrolet Corvette LT1 Factory A/C Convertible

Its low production numbers make the 1970-72 LT1 Corvette a scarce commodity, but few are as rare as this expertly restored 1972 factory A/C convertible consigned to the Bloomington Gold Corvette Auction for sale on Saturday June 26.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Briggs Cunningham: Tale Of An American Sportsman

A few years ago I had the honor of designing and producing the Briggs Cunningham biographical website. Cunningham was a fascinating man whose story I believe any muscle car fan or hot rodder will appreciate.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

An Impromtu Visit With The Ultimate Car Guy

Richmond Street Rodders welcomed Jay Leno at Vancouver Int'l Airport, Saturday May 8 on his way to a private speaking engagement. A great time was had by all.

I received this message last Thursday, May 5 from my friend Gord James, president of the Richmond Street Rodders in Richmond, BC, home of Vancouver International Airport:
Jay Leno is arriving in Vancouver this Saturday for a private function. Nigel Matthews mentioned that if we parked our cars along the grass beside the road by the Helijet terminal (Inglis Dr., across from McDonalds), he might stop and say hello. We should be there by 6:00.
Sure enough, Jay stopped by on his way into Vancouver, and we have a few photos of his visit from the good folks in the RSR.

Big kudos go to Nigel Matthews for making it happen.