|I have a glass table that is a little too low, so I polished up an old ball bearing gear and put it between the leg and glass — you can see the gear and visitors always ask what it is. There’s lots of other furniture made from repurposed car parts — like the steering wheel sconce to the right. Know any others?|
Ron Patrick has built a jet powered VW Beetle. He says “the car has two engines: the production gasoline engine in the front driving the front wheels and the jet engine in the back. The idea is that you drive around legally on the gasoline engine and when you want to have some fun, you spin up the jet and get on the burner (you can start the jet while driving along on the gasoline engine).” Read more about how he did it here. He also put jets on his wife’s Honda Metropolitan scooter so it could go faster than 40mph.
|After reading Go Like Hell, about the Ford/Ferrari rivalry from the 60’s, my husband suggested we rent the movies Grand Prix and Le Mans. This week was Le Mans, from 1971, starring Steve McQueen. This movie is almost a documentary, with lots of wonderful race fotage but not much story, and a very grim looking McQueen. He seems “grim” to me, but he may be just single-mindedly focused on the race (although I’d hate to walk through life never smiling!) There’s a girl thrown in the mix, turning up in places that don’t seem logical, and there’s no chemistry between her and McQueen.
It was wonderful to see and hear vintage Porsches on the track. And you certainly get an idea of what sort of life drivers had during those 24 hours races. But I’ll take Yves Montand and Grand Prix any day.
|This 1965 Volkswagen bus was bound for Germany when customs agents seized it at the port of Los Angeles, 35 years after it was reported stolen in Spokane, WA. The headline in the Wall Street Journal says “‘Party Van’ Stolen 35 Years Ago Finally Found; Woman Wants It Back, but It’s Allstate’s Now.” Read the entire story here.|
|After reading Go Like Hell, about the Ford/Ferrari rivalry from the 60’s, my husband suggested we rent the movies Grand Prix and Le Mans. First up was Grand Prix , from 1966, starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, and the actor who should really get top billing, Yves Montand. It’s two love stories in one — the first between 4 men and racing and the second between Montand and Saint. Although it felt quite dated, with many split screen montages, the movie captured the era by using cameras strapped to the vehicles, real race footage, and the guttural and visceral sounds of the race engines. And did I mention Yves Montand? James Gardner looks and acts like a dumb American, but Montand is sauve and sexy and made this night seem even more like a date, even though we were watching on the couch in the family room!|
Recently our friend Hayden went from San Francisco to England to drive a London to Casablanca Rally. While he got to the start, the car didn’t make it in time. My husband and I sold a car several years ago to a guy in Europe, but the buyer made all the arrangements, we just drove the car to the dock in Oakland, California. So it was with interest that I’ve been reading John Glynn’s posts on shipping a car from the US to the UK. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2.
A.J. Baime’s Go Like Hell tells story of how the Ford Motor Co., spear-headed by a young Lee Iacocca, hired former racing-champion-turned-car-builder Carroll Shelby in the late ’60s to help reinvent a sagging company. The plan was to design, build, and race a car that could win at one of the most prestigious races in the world — the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
While the bulk of the book focuses on the rivalry between Ford & Ferrari, the story unfolds as the auto industry in America and racing in Europe are on the cusp of big changes — the shift from unregulated to safety-oriented has just begun in earnest with the publication of Ralph Nadar’s Unsafe at Any Speed. Baime discusses not only the racing and race prep but the changing automobile business as well.
It’s a quick easy read, written for both race fans and newcomers. Although I’m afraid I wasn’t enamored of his writing style — too many chapters start with big build-ups of suspense that don’t pan out to much.
A man blamed a low-flying pelican and a dropped cell phone for his veering his million-dollar sports car off a road and into a salt marsh near Galveston Texas…. Amazingly, a car driving by captured the entire mishap in the video below — their commentary is priceless. A friend commented that if that’s salt water, the car is a total write-off. You can read the entire story here.
According to Urban Outfitters, this is a “classic Volkswagen bus-style speaker with a port and cable for playing your iPod; USB plug for amplifying music from your computer and built-in AM/FM radio. Functional wheels; flashing head and taillights and horn sound option; volume control; radio pre-sets; digital clock at the rear window.” All for just $150!