Nascar’s Racing At Bristol

This weekend the Nascar Sprint Cup series will be racing at Bristol. Bristol traditionally is one of those tracks where cages get rattled, and the old bump and run used to be the only way to pass a guy and get by him.

Since they have changed the track banking, it has opened up from a one groove track to two and even sometimes three lanes of racing. Even with the changes, the atmosphere at Bristol is incredible. It’s a half mile of short track racing with steep seating completely around the track that reminds you of a roman coliseum.

It’s also the loudest track on the circuit, because of the way its designed there’s no way for the noise to escape. Pit crews aren’t able to talk to one another like they do at other tracks, so they use hand signals and pass pieces of paper with instructions to one another to get the job done. » Continue reading more of this post…

The Automotive Roller Coaster Of 1929

In 1929 Los Angeles had opened an amusement park with an automotive roller coaster. The roller coaster was constructed of wooden planks, banked turns, 5-10 foot hills, and stretched for 2243 feet.  Basically you would pay for a one trip ticket that allowed you to drive your 1920′s automobile around the track, following guidelines that were placed on the wood for cars to follow.

A railing was erected around the edges of the track to keep cars on course, and there was room to pass another vehicle if you had to. There was also a speed limit on the track as to how fast you were suppose to be able to drive around the course. Once you were done with your driving experience, you could then park in the middle of the automotive roller coaster if you wanted to for an additional fee.

I have seen some old footage of this on TV before, and couldn’t help but think of all of the modern day safety devices that those cars lacked.

Image Borrowed From: yourfridayafternoondistraction.com

Oldie But Goodie: A Rendezvous In Paris

If you are a car enthusiast, there are a few videos that you are obligated to view at some point in life.  “C’était un rendez-vous” is one of them.  Like many good things, it is surrounded in lies and controversy, but fake or not, it gets your adrenaline pumping and the sound is music to the ears.

The story goes…… that in 1976, a guy named Claude Lelouch raced through Paris at high speeds in the early morning hours driving his Ferrari 275 GTB. He scattered birds, endangered the public, and generally ignored all rules of the road.  You can distinctly hear the heel-toe shifting and the revving V12 as the car flies through narrow intersections and sharp corners.  It is 9 minutes of ear candy……as strange as that sounds. Much like yesterday, crank your volume up!

Can’t see the video? Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8Vo8iGLMwk

The truth is unfortunately far less thrilling than the video.  Apparently the camera is actually attached to a Claude’s Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL (yawn..) and the sound was dubbed in after.  The sound is likely from his V12 Ferrari 275 GTB though, just not the one flying through the streets of Paris, because that one never existed. Regardless of reality, it is a fun video to watch, and a great topic to bring up when you’re bench racing with your buddy’s in the garage.

Because Beautiful Welding Never Gets Old.

In the past, we have touched upon my borderline insane slight obsession with welding once or twice. I just can’t seem to get over the inherent beauty of taking two solid metals, liquifying them with massive amounts of electricity, and watching them flow into each other while hiding behind copious amounts of safety equipment. It’s unbelievably gratifying. The ultra violet light shines brilliantly from the tip of the torch as if it were full of magic, which it is. You are more or less in charge of a mini version of the sun, and you can do whatever you want with it. Liquify a little mild steel here, then maybe some aluminum over there, and if you feel wild, you challenge yourself on some copper.  Then, when that perfect weld happens, you feel as if you just invented the wheel.  High 5′s are handed out by the dozen, and much rejoicing takes place.  Unfortunately, to make consistently beautiful welds takes crazy amounts of skill.  The kind of rare skill that many people do not have, including myself.  The good news is that some of those rare people that are that good at welding take pictures of their work for people like us to sit back and dream about.  “Califonia Jay” from VWVortex is one of those people. » Continue reading more of this post…

Jay Leno’s 66 Galaxy

I caught a pretty good episode the other night of My Classic Car; Dennis Gage did the show with Jay Leno and the 66 Ford Galaxy that he built.

Now this story begins when Jay Leno was 16, he went with his mother and father to the Ford dealership to pick out a new car for the family. Jay’s father looked around the lot and went into the showroom and the only thing that the dealer had were Ford Fairlanes and Falcons. His father wanted a bigger car than those, one that he could go for a ride with the family in. His father decided to custom order the Galaxy.

Jay started bothering his father saying “let me pick the engine,  I want to pick the engine”! His mother told his father to just let him have fun and pick the engine, because what could possibly go wrong? Jay pulled the salesman to the side and said “here’s what we want” we want the 428, and we also want the muffler delete option. (The muffler delete option in those days was a set of glass packs.) » Continue reading more of this post…

The 1955 Porsche 356 `Silver Bullett`

Back in 1992, Jeff Dutton of Australia was building a fantastically hotrodded Porsche 356 ……errr ……914? Whatever it was, it turned out to be one of the cooler looking Porsches that I have laid my eyes upon.  From what I understand, Jeff’s family was in the coach building business since the early 1900′s, and this is where Jeff honed his skills that were needed to build the “Silver Bullett”.

The Silver Bullett actually began its life as two cars that were only vaguely related, like 2nd cousins.  The first being a Porsche 914, and the second being a rough looking 1955 356 continental coupe.  Some purists weren’t too thrilled about the fact that Jeff cut up a rare ’55 356, but who knows, maybe the 356 was 1 step away from turning to dust?   » Continue reading more of this post…

Whoa: Have You Seen Nelson Racing Engines?

Imagine you are a multi-millionaire driving to work in your luxurious ’91 Chevrolet Caprice (hey, it could happen).  Gas is cheap, the sun is shining, brightly colored flowers are swaying, ducks are quacking, and life sure is good.  With the windows wide open and the radio cranked, you do your best to harmonize with Mariah Carey because nobody else is around to judge you.  You are sure that today is going to be an absolutely wonderful day.  Mariah and yourself are just about to hit the pinnacle of “We belong together”, when your Caprice violently puke’s its connecting rod through the side of the engine block.  Ca-Blooey!  Rap Rap Ca-Pow!  Thud….  Mariah will have to finish this one without you.

Silence has surrounded you as you woefully roll to the side of the road.  The sun, flowers, and ducks have all vanished as well.  Could your engine have really been trying to escape your singing?  Ouch. While you can’t be sure about your engine’s motives, you can be sure that your smooth sailing, sweet B-body needs a new power plant. What a bummer…  Or is it? » Continue reading more of this post…

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