11 May

Cannonball Outlaw Reunion set for June 2 in Greenwich, Conn.

Director Hal Needham and Pamela Yates with the infamous TransCon Medi-Vac Ambulance in 1979 - Archive photo

Director Hal Needham and Pamela Yates with the infamous
TransCon Medi-Vac Ambulance in 1979 – Gero Hoschek Photo

GREENWICH, Conn. – On June 2, in Greenwich, Conn., a group of original outlaws depicted in the 1981 film “Cannonball Run” will come together in one place to recount those outrageous stories of beating the law as they raced cross-country from New York City to Los Angeles in some of the craziest vehicles built for the endeavor.

This will mark the third reunion since the first car took off from the Red Ball Garage in New York City in 1971, and it will be held at the Cole Auditorium at the Greenwich Library. A number of the original outlaws will relive those desperado days relating their wild stories as they sped coast-to-coast, evading the law either with excessive speed or outlandish explanations for their escapades. Remarkably, they all avoided jail-time.

Pamela Yates, wife of Brock Yates, the originator of the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, who was a patient in 1979 in the bogus TransCon Medi-Vac Ambulance speeding cross-country to a special hospital because her “condition prevented her from flying,” will tell her story.

Judy Stropus, who was part of the Right Bra team in 1972 of three women dressed in pink bell-bottoms and bodysuits, and portrayed loosely (and we mean loosely) by Adrienne Barbeau in the movie, will finally reveal her side of the story of their demise.

The Right Bra Racing Team Left to right: Judy Stropus, Peggy Nemecek, and Donna Mae Mims, “the Pink Lady” - Archive photo

The Right Bra Racing Team Left to right: Judy Stropus, Peggy Nemecek, and Donna Mae Mims, “the Pink Lady” – Archive photo

Riding in a Travco motor home replete with gourmet chef creating fine dining for the crew in 1971, ’72 and ’75, Bill Brodrick (known as the “hat man” at the NASCAR races in the ’70s and ’80s), and Car and Driver writer William Jeanes will describe their adventures.

Other outlaws with zany recollections from the 1970s will include Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance wizard Bill Warner, who still owns and drives the Porsche 911 he piloted in 1975, and Jack Cowell, who, with Pete Brock and Dick Gilmartin, were the “Flying Fathers” in 1972 in a Mercedes-Benz 280SEL, loaned to them by M-B p.r. rep at the time, Leo Levine. Levine will be on hand to explain how he got away with that one. We’ll hear from Bob Brown, who drove with Brock Yates in 1972 in the Cotton Owens-built Dodge Challenger, and Rich Taylor, the official starter at the Red Ball Garage in New York City. We’ll also view videos from other outlaws, such as racing icon Dan Gurney, Pete Brock, Brock Yates Jr., and Anatoly Arutunoff.

Dan Gurney and Brock Yates with the winning Ferrari Daytona relax at the Portofino Inn November 17, 1971 – Archive photo

Dan Gurney and Brock Yates with the winning Ferrari Daytona relax
at the Portofino Inn November 17, 1971 – Archive photo

Long after the dust settled from the original races, long-distance driver Alex Roy and David Maher, with filmmaker Cory Welles on board, set a new transcontinental record in a technology-laden BMW M5. Roy will share the wild highlights and show some never-before-seen footage from the record run!

Car collector, Cannonball fan, and well-known DJ Travis Bell will recount his meticulous recreation of the TransCon Medi-Vac Ambulance, with the support and blessing of Hal Needham and Brock Yates. They liked it so much, they signed the dash!

Cannonball cars on display will include:

  • Dan Gurney/Brock Yates Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona that won the race overall in 1971
  • Brock Yates’ iconic 1972 Dodge Challenger built by NASCAR’s Cotton Owens
  • Bill Warner’s 1975 Porsche 911T
  • Travis Bell’s TransCon MediVac Ambulance recreation
  • Alex Roy’s Polizei 144 BMW M5
Brock Yates’ Cotton Owens built 1972 Dodge Challenger now owned by Wayne Carini – Amelia Is. Concours photo

Brock Yates’ Cotton Owens built 1972 Dodge Challenger
now owned by Wayne Carini – Amelia Is. Concours photo

The panel discussion will be hosted by Mike Spinelli, Executive Producer, TheDrive.com at Time Inc., co-host of The Drive on NBC Sports and co-founder of Jalopnik.

“This event is not to be missed,” said Roger Garbow, co-organizer of the event with Judy Stropus. “The chances of all these outlaws being reunited again in one place to relate their madcap stories are pretty slim. I guarantee that it will stand as an historic event of its own.”

The panel discussion, which will include excerpts from the original 1981 film, onboard video footage from Alex Roy’s 2006 run, a slide show depicting the early days, an auction of Cannonball memorabilia, an autograph session, and other surprises will complete the evening. The event is being held in cooperation with the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance (June 3-4) www.greenwichconcours.com and the Greenwich International Film Festival http://www.greenwichfilm.org/.

Tickets are $125 per person, which includes dinner (gourmet grilled cheese and lobster sliders) and drinks, and may be purchased at www.greenwichfilm.org. The evening begins at 6:30 in the courtyard of the Greenwich Library, alongside the Cannonball cars, with the program beginning at 8 p.m.

The proceeds of this dinner will benefit the New England Auto Museum, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization www.neautomuseum.org.

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03 May

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance celebrates its 22nd year in 2017

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Bugattis, Historic Race Cars, Hot Rods and Children’s Cars featured to benefit Americares

GREENWICH, Conn. – Recognized as one of the premier classic car shows in the country, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance will celebrate its 22nd year of showcasing significant cars, motorcycles and one-off automotive creations on June 3-4, 2017.

The brainchild of the late Bruce Wennerstrom, the Concours continues its tradition of holding two unique Concours back-to-back at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park overlooking the Greenwich, Conn., harbor on Long Island Sound.

For 21 years, the proceeds from the Greenwich Concours have gone to support Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing medicine, medical supplies and health programs.

Organizer of the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Bill Warner, has been named the Grand Marshal.

Saturday, June 3, will be the Concours Americana for American cars and motorcycles, while Sunday, June 4, will feature the Concours International for imported marques.

The inaugural hot rod display being organized by Velocity Channel’s Chasing Classic Cars host Wayne Carini will highlight Saturday’s show. A special exhibit of children’s cars and supercars will round out the day’s displays. Saturday’s ticket also allows attendees to preview all of the cars in the Bonhams auction tent.

Tickets are also available on Saturday night to a gala party and elegant buffet at the Greenwich Delamar Hotel, with luxurious yachts as a backdrop on the quay.

Sunday’s featured marque will be Bugatti and will include a collection of rare Bugattis from the American Bugatti Club. Sunday will also feature race cars from the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival. The Bonham’s auction begins at noon on Sunday and requires a separate admission.

Also showcased during the weekend will be the iconic outlaw cars from the original cross-country Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, held in the ’70s, along with some of the later non-outlaw entries. These cars will also be displayed at the Cannonball Reunion, a joint evening event with the Greenwich International Film Festival, at Cole Auditorium on Friday, June 2. Proceeds from this event will support the development of the New England Auto Museum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a world class automotive display and educational facility in Connecticut.

Both days will include displays of the latest in new cars including BMW, Cadillac, Tesla, Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Miller Motorcars of Greenwich will highlight its Ferrari, Bugatti, Pagani, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, McLaren, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Maserati marques. Opportunities to test drive some of these new vehicles will be offered. There will also be a number of luxury yachts displayed at the adjacent Delamar Hotel docks.

“The Greenwich Concours is proud to partner with Americares to help families in need all over the world,” said Mary Wennerstrom, Concours Chairman. “Not only will attendees who appreciate these rare cars be treated to two days to delight their senses, they will also be contributing to one of the world’s most respected charities.”

“Americares is honored to be the Greenwich Concours’ charity of choice for more than two decades,” said Americares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “Together we are helping families affected by poverty or disaster to get the health care they need — the health care they deserve.”

VIP tickets are available on a limited basis. A VIP ticket includes early entry to the Concours, breakfast and lunch with the car owners and judges, access to the VIP lounge and patio at the Delamar Hotel, entrance to the Bonhams Cocktail Reception on Friday night, lapel pin, poster and a VIP lanyard.

  • Gates open at 10 a.m. for general admission, 8 a.m. for VIP ticket holders
  • Advance tickets for both days are available at $30 per day or $50 for both days
  • Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult
  • VIP Admission is $250 per day or $450 for both days
  • Saturday Night Gala tickets are available for $175
  • Tickets can be purchased at http://www.greenwichconcours.com/visitors/tickets/
  • Admission to Bonhams auction is available on site at $40 for two people
  • To request media credentials, please go to http://www.greenwichconcours.com/press-links/

The weekend activities will include other events, open to the public, some in cooperation with the Greenwich International Film Festival:

About Americares
Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies. Each year, Americares reaches more than 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states with over $600 million in innovative health programs and quality medical aid. Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit americares.org

Baby Bugatti with a 1925 Bugatti Type 35A/51 Grand Prix at the Greenwich Concours site Photo by Bearded Mug Media

Baby Bugatti with a 1925 Bugatti Type 35A/51 Grand Prix at the Greenwich Concours site
Photo by Bearded Mug Media

18 Apr

Cannonball Reunion – June 2, 2017

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DON’T MISS OUT! Tickets are now on sale for the Cannonball Reunion – in cooperation with the Greenwich (Conn.) Concours and the Greenwich Film Festival.

 

Featuring original Cannonballers and their cars, too! Seating is very limited so don’t delay.

 

Proceeds from the Reunion will benefit the New England Auto Museum, www.neautomuseum.org

 

To buy tickets, go to www.greenwichfilm.org

 

June 2, 2017 – 6:30 p.m. – program at 8 p.m.
Cole Auditorium at the Greenwich Library
101 West Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
28 Mar

1st Annual Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer planned for Norwalk Sunday April 23rd

1965 FFR Shelby Daytona Coupe owned by Mark Schlegel

1965 FFR Shelby Daytona Coupe owned by Mark Schlegel

Norwalk, Conn. – Mark Schlegel is often seen at area car shows where he proudly displays his distinctive royal blue ’65 FFR Shelby Daytona Coupe. The sleek sports racer has won numerous awards including Favorite Track Car at last year’s NEAM Father’s Day Car Show, and is always surrounded by admiring spectators. Mark Schlegel was diagnosed in April of 2015 with pancreatic cancer and is currently under the care of Dr. Richard Frank, MD at the Norwalk Hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Center. Recently Mark and a group of his friends formed a 501(c)(3) organization called “Rallye For Pancreatic Cancer” which is raising funds for Dr. Frank’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Study. The purpose of the study is the development of a blood test for early detection of pancreatic cancer and 100% of all the donations to the nonprofit organization will go directly to this research study.

On Sunday April 23, 2017, Mark’s group will host a car rally and show event in Norwalk. The event will run from 9:00am until 3:00pm. It will kick off with a “Rallye” of Classic Cars starting at Veteran’s Park running through Norwalk and culminating at Calf Pasture Beach where the cars will be on display for the general public to view. In the event of inclement weather on April 23rd, the event will be postponed to May 7, 2017.

The Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer organization’s mission and the importance of this fund raiser is to bring awareness and to help fund an early detection blood test screening to diagnose pancreatic cancer.

• Pancreatic Cancer is the only cancer where there is no early screening for detection.
• Diagnosis is usually made at Stage 3 or stage 4.
• It is the least funded of all cancers.
• Connecticut currently ranks first in pancreatic cancer incidence in the U.S.

To support this worthwhile cause, everyone is encouraged to join the event as a spectator, participant, donor and/or sponsor. All gifts made in support of Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer are tax-deductible as provided by law, and all participation forms are available for download from the organization’s website www.rallyeforpanceaticcancer.org

rally
1st Annual Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer – April 23, 2017 (Rain Date: May 7)

Imports, Customs and Classics Car Show
9:00am to 3:00pm
Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT
Food, Music and Cars

Be a participant or a spectator for the first annual Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer. Come see a collection of unique automobiles. This will be a very exciting new car show to kick off the 2017 season.

Rallye for Pancreatic Cancer was created to bring awareness for one of the deadliest cancers having no early detection and diagnosis. Proceeds will support a landmark, three-year pancreatic cancer research study at WCHN being led by Richard C. Frank, MD, a hematologist/oncologist and the Director of Clinical Cancer Research at Norwalk Hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Center and the WCHN Biomedical Research Institute in Danbury.

Come show off your car or become a sponsor to help fund Pancreatic Cancer Research. Please call Mark C. Schlegel at 203-434-8540 or Peter Bondi at 203-984-4574 or
email: pcresearch17@gmail.com

All donations can be made to Rallye For Pancreatic Cancer, Inc.
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 100% of all proceeds go to the Research Study.

Register Your Car at www.rallyeforpancreaticcancer.org

22 Mar

The Winning Daytona 24 & Sebring 12 Drivers Racing in PWC Lime Rock Opener, May 26-27

lr171LAKEVILLE, Conn. – The winning drivers of January’s IMSA Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and last weekend’s IMSA Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – the brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor – will be racing in Connecticut at Lime Rock Park in the USAC Pirelli World Challenge series, the opening event of Lime Rock’s 2017 season, Memorial Day weekend May 26-27.

Ricky (l.) & Jordan Taylor are SprintX-ing with the Cadillac PWC team on Memorial Day weekend

Ricky (l.) & Jordan Taylor are SprintX-ing with the Cadillac PWC team on Memorial Day weekend

The Bros. Taylor, sons of prototype and GT racing icon Wayne Taylor, are longtime General Motors stalwarts, even at the tender ages of 28 (Ricky) and 26 (Jordan). They race the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype for their father’s team, Wayne Taylor Racing, in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

At Lime Rock, the Taylor Boys have been contracted to join Cadillac V-Performance Racing drivers Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) GT races. O’Connell and Cooper drive the #3 and #8 Cadillac ATS-V.R, respectively.

New for 2017, the two Lime Rock PWC GT races will be the SprintX 60-minute format: Two drivers per car, with a mandatory driver and tire change at 25 minutes.

O'Connell's PWC #3 Cadillac ATS-V.R

O’Connell’s PWC #3 Cadillac ATS-V.R

The Cadillac driver pairings haven’t been finalized, but word on the street is that Jordan will be O’Connell’s co-driver, and Ricky will be with Cooper.

“I’m really looking forward to the PWC season,” O’Connell, 55, said. “We had one bad weekend last year that really cost us, and I’ve been training hard all winter looking for some redemption. Ricky and Jordan are doing a great job proving themselves on the world stage, especially with these great Daytona and Sebring wins. I am very much looking forward to working with them this season in the SprintX races.”

“All of the Cadillac fans should be as excited as I am to have Jordan and Ricky with us for the SprintX races this year,” Cooper, 27, said. “Jordan has tested with us numerous times the last few years, so I’m sure they’ll slot right in and make their presence known. They are a perfect fit for Cadillac Racing’s SprintX program.”

“I am extremely excited to share the ATS-V.R with the guys,” Ricky Taylor said. “I have always been a huge fan of the ATS-V.R program and of Johnny and Michael, so getting a chance to contribute to the team and hopefully another championship is a great opportunity. Lime Rock is an extra special one for me as I have won there three times and it was my first professional win while driving with Max Angelelli.”

“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the Cadillac ATS-V.R,” Jordan Taylor said. “It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Lime Rock. It’s a track that I’ve always enjoyed… a true, old school American road course. The layout is very enjoyable for a driver and presents a big challenge for the engineers.”

In last year’s two “regular” PWC GT races at Lime Rock, O’Connell had a third and a 17th, while Cooper finished eighth and 14th.

Cooper's PWC #8 Cadillac ATS-V.R

Cooper’s PWC #8 Cadillac ATS-V.R

Purchase general admission tickets at a discounted pre-event price now at limerock.com. Mohegan Sun Fan Hospitality and Personal Cabana passes are available, too. GA tickets are $23 for Friday, $45 for Saturday, and $60 for Fri./Sat./Sun. (the Sunday Royals Car Show) weekend.

Fan Note 1: For all Lime Rock Race Weekends, veterans and active military are free; youths 16 and under w/adult free; parking free; paddock access free

Fan Note 2: For Memorial Day weekend, immediate family of vets and active military also free

Courtesy Lime Rock Park

04 Mar

Karl Chevrolet Signs on as Presenting Sponsor of the New England Auto Museum Father’s Day Car Show June 18th in Norwalk

Karl Chevrolet was founded in 1927 by Leo and Emil Karl, two of seven brothers (Photo courtesy of the Karl family)

Karl Chevrolet was founded in 1927 by Leo and Emil Karl, two of seven brothers
(Photo courtesy of the Karl family)

Norwalk, Conn. – New England Auto Museum has announced that Karl Chevrolet of New Canaan has signed on as the Presenting Sponsor of the 3rd Annual Father’s Day Car Show to be held Sunday June 18th from 10AM to 3PM at Mathews Park in Norwalk.

Karl Chevrolet is a third generation, award winning, auto dealership bringing the family’s long time automotive experience to customers from Wilton CT to Mt. Kisco NY and all throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties. For almost 90 years, thousands of customers have come to Karl Chevrolet and experienced their motto: “Honesty, Integrity, Service and Trust! We work hard to earn your business!”

In 1927, Leo Karl, one of the seven brothers, got an opportunity to purchase a Chevrolet dealership that had been struggling. He opened it in New Canaan with a younger brother, Emil, on September 15, of that year. For some months they were located on Railroad Avenue (today Elm Street) opposite the train station, and they moved to their current location nearby the following year. In its first year, Karl Chevrolet sold 34 new and 38 used cars.

Recently Karl Chevrolet received a 2017 DealerRater Dealer of the Year Award which recognizes auto dealerships across the United States and Canada who deliver outstanding customer service, based on consumer reviews written on DealerRater.com. “Car buyers have spoken and have identified Karl Chevrolet as the best Chevrolet dealer to do business with in Connecticut,” DealerRater CEO Gary Tucker said in a press release. “The quality and number of reviews for Karl Chevrolet speak volumes of the top-notch experiences they provide to customers.” In expressing appreciation for the award, Karl Chevrolet President Leo Karl III added “It’s not rocket science; we try to take care of each customer on an individual basis”

In its 3rd year, the NEAM Father’s Day Show takes advantage of its surroundings on the spacious lawns of the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum which provide a scenic backdrop for a spectacular collection of classic cars. The show provides a wide variety of attractions for car owners and spectators alike including tours of the Mansion and the neighboring Stepping Stones Children’s Museum as well as great BBQ food, ice cream and games.

The addition of Karl Chevrolet as Presenting Sponsor highlights the selection of the Chevrolet Camaro, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, as featured American marque.

Camaro # 001, the first of 49 hand built prototypes assembled in Norwood, Ohio in 1966 (Photo Chevrolet Division)

Camaro # 001, the first of 49 hand built prototypes assembled in Norwood, Ohio in 1966 (Photo Chevrolet Division)

The Camaro was officially announced as a 1967 model on June 28, 1966 by Chevrolet Division’s General Manager Pete Estes. GM marketers claimed to have found the name Camaro in an old French-English Dictionary, translating to “friend, pal, or comrade.” It was also joked that a Camaro was “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.” The Camaro was undoubtedly a direct response to the success of Ford’s pony car, and its design reflected that.

Camaro will also be honored as a featured marque at the upcoming Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In announcing the honor, Concours Chairman Bill Warner summarized the car’s secrets to success and longevity, “The Camaro brought affordable world-class design to American car showrooms.” Warner added, “With a big list of models and options one could build a very personalized Camaro. Camaros were road-racing and drag-racing champions, luxury GT cars, Saturday night cruisers, top-down beach cruisers, you name it. Now they’ve taken their rightful place as true modern classics.”

To celebrate the 50 year milestone of the Camaro’s debut, Chevrolet has introduced a specially equipped 50th Anniversary Edition available with unique Nightfall Gray exterior color and orange stripe package plus special interior and exterior trim elements. The special edition is available in both coupe and convertible models and power train options include the 6.2 liter L1-V8 and 6-speed transmission which will deliver a 0-60 time of 4 seconds flat. Karl Chevrolet will be displaying a 50th Anniversary Edition Camaro at the Father’s Day Car Show.

2017 Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition (Photo Chevrolet Division)

2017 Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition (Photo Chevrolet Division)

Anyone interested in showing a car at the Father’s Day Car Show may pre-register online at the New England Auto Museum website at only $15/per car or at the gate on the day of the show for $20/per car. All show cars will be welcome with no cut-off year. Spectator admission is free. Prizes will include awards for the Peoples’ Choice, the Mayor’s Choice, Favorite in Show and many more. Dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars to register.

New England Auto Museum
The New England Auto Museum will be an exciting new attraction for the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. This non-profit organization will build a first class facility dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting historic automobiles and automobile artifacts. It will serve as both an educational learning center as well as a display center to highlight an ever changing evolution of car history and its impact on society. Find more information at www.neautomuseum.org

31 Jan

Chevrolet Camaro & Morgan Cars to headline the 3nd Annual NEAM Father’s Day Car Show on Sunday, June 18th at Mathews Park in Norwalk

Spectators and classic cars at the 2016 Father’s Day Car Show at Mathews Park in Norwalk (Photo Alex on Kleydorff/Hearst Media)

Spectators and classic cars at the 2016 Father’s Day Car Show at Mathews Park in Norwalk
(Photo Alex on Kleydorff/Hearst Media)

Norwalk, Conn. – On Sunday, June 18, 2017 New England Auto Museum will again present a Father’s Day Car Show on the lawn of Mathews Park in Norwalk, site of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. The event will be held from 10AM to 3PM and will offer hundreds of unique cars to view. Admission to the event is free to spectators; a donation will be voluntary and any proceeds will go towards the New England Auto Museum’s building and education funds. The New England Auto Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Great food and refreshments will be provided all day by J & D Grilling along with ice cream treats from Good Humor and gourmet popsicles from PopCentric. There will be trophies for People’s Choice, Favorite in Show and more.

Spectators can come out and enjoy an afternoon of classic cars in all shapes and sizes, talk with the owners, be a judge and select their favorite car, grab a bite to eat and even visit the Stepping Stones Children’s Museum and tour the historic Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, right next door. It’s a great afternoon for Dad and the whole family!

This year, the Father’s Day Car Show will feature two celebrated automotive marques: from America, the Chevrolet Camaro celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2017 and from England will be Morgan, builder of hand-crafted automobiles since 1909.

Camaro # 001, the first of 49 hand built prototypes assembled in Norwood, Ohio in 1966 (Photo Chevrolet Division)

Camaro # 001, the first of 49 hand built prototypes assembled in Norwood, Ohio in 1966
(Photo Chevrolet Division)

The Camaro was officially announced as a 1967 model on June 28, 1966 by Chevrolet Division’s General Manager Pete Estes. He had called in magazine and newspapers writers from 14 different markets onto one massive conference phone call, the first time this had ever been done. Estes brought the people on for the first and last meeting of the Society for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive World (SEPAW). Panther was the nickname that had been given to the car during its testing period, while GM marketers found the name Camaro in the 1935 edition of Heath’s French to English Dictionary, translating to “friend, pal, or comrade.” It was also joked that a Camaro was “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”

The Camaro was undoubtedly a direct response to the success of Ford’s pony car, and its design reflected that. The car had a long hood, a short rear deck, two-door configuration and a 2+2 set up. The car was originally launched with Sport Coupe (which had a lower price point than the Mustang at $2,466), Rally Sport and Super Sport trims. The base engine was a 140hp inline-six, while 5.7L and 6.2L V8s were available in the SS and the later-debuting race-ready Z/28 trim had a 4.9L small-block V8. There were a plethora of options for transmissions, including a three- and four-speed manuals and a two-speed automatic. In its first year of existence, the Camaro had the honor of pacing the Indianapolis 500.

2017 Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition (Photo Chevrolet Division)

2017 Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition (Photo Chevrolet Division)

The Morgan Motor Company Ltd. was established in 1909 by H.F.S. Morgan with the design of the Morgan three-wheeler. A four-wheeled model began production in 1936, and Morgan cars have long become famous the world over for their unique blend of charisma, quality materials, craftsmanship and performance.

The “Classic” Morgan 4/4 Roadster (Photo Morgan Motor Cars)

The “Classic” Morgan 4/4 Roadster (Photo Morgan Motor Cars)

The ethos at Morgan remains unchanged: all their cars are coach built and subjected to continual development in order to meet current standards of safety and to offer the responsive thoroughbred performance with which the Morgan name is associated. The evolution of the company’s model-range has taken the marque into the 21st Century, and today Morgan builds in excess of 1300 cars per year, all crafted painstakingly by hand in Malvern, England. The Aero 8, a major achievement for a small Company, was launched in 2000, and continual evolution of the Aero Range has seen the 8 joined by the dramatic Aero SuperSports and its fixed-head sibling, the Aero Coupe. In 2011 the company re-launched the Morgan 3 Wheeler, a modern interpretation of H.F.S. Morgan’s original design. Morgan’s ‘Classic’ range continues to be its flagship automobiles – with models including the 4/4, the world’s longest-running production vehicle, and engine sizes ranging from 1600cc to 4800cc, these famous icons are the models perhaps most associated with Morgan and are beloved by owners in New England and around the world.

Anyone interested in showing a car at the Father’s Day Car Show may pre-register online at the New England Auto Museum website at only $15/per car or at the gate on the day of the show for $20/per car. All show cars will be welcome with no cut-off year. Spectator admission is free. Prizes will include awards for the Peoples’ Choice, the Mayor’s Choice, Favorite in Show and many more. Dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars to register.

New England Auto Museum
The New England Auto Museum will be an exciting new attraction for the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. This non-profit organization will build a first class facility dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting historic automobiles and automobile artifacts. It will serve as both an educational learning center as well as a display center to highlight an ever changing evolution of car history and its impact on society. Find more information at www.neautomuseum.org

2016 People’s Choice winner ’34 Packard Sport Phaeton owned by the Pray Family Foundation (Photo Alex on Kleydorff/Hearst Media)

2016 People’s Choice winner ’34 Packard Sport Phaeton owned by the Pray Family Foundation
(Photo Alex on Kleydorff/Hearst Media)

15 Jan

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to feature Movie Cars class on March 12

The ‘Rain Man’ 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible restored by Wayne Carini Photo by Neil Rashba, courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

The ‘Rain Man’ 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible restored by Wayne Carini
Photo by Neil Rashba, courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Amelia Island, Fla. – One appeal of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (and trust us, there are many) is the diversity of cars selected to appear each March. From the “Cars You Never Knew Existed” class (featuring automotive eccentricities like a four-door Porsche 928, or the aircraft-inspired 1948 Tasco prototype) to famous racing cars and CCCA Full Classics, the show offers something for everyone to appreciate. For 2017, the show will expand its range to include cars seen on the silver screen, starring in a new Movie Cars class.
Loads of cars have appeared in Hollywood films, but only a select number of them are considered stars in their own right. These are the cars that play leading roles, the ones we remember long after we’ve left the movie theater or drive-in. The special category was inspired by the popularity of the 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible, featured in the Academy Award-winning 1988 feature film Rain Main. It was displayed by Connecticut-based restorer Wayne Carini in the Post War American Production Class at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Owned by Rain Main director Barry Levinson, the Buick will be making a repeat appearance at the 2017 show.
In the words of Concours Chairman Bill Warner “When Wayne Carini brought the 1949 Rain Man Buick Roadmaster to Amelia last year it triggered something important. Memories of special cars and movies often frame the central moments of our emotional lives. Usually they resurrect happy memories. Those feelings and memories are precisely what we’re shooting for with the Movie Cars class.”

Harry Yeaggy’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5, as seen in ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Thunderball’ Photo courtesy RM Sotheby’s.

Harry Yeaggy’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5, as seen in ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Thunderball’
Photo courtesy RM Sotheby’s.

Perhaps the best-known car to appear will be the 1964 Aston Martin DB5, driven by Sean Connery (as James Bond) in Goldfinger and Thunderball. As the most astute Bond fans know, two DB5s were originally built for the filming of 1964’s Goldfinger. One, the “Effects Car,” came with the full assemblage of gadgetry seen in the movie, making it too heavy and slow to drive. A second car, the “Road Car,” was built for the driving scenes, but gadgets were later added before the car was used in the filming of 1965’s Thunderball. Additionally, two other DB5s, known as the “Press Cars,” were constructed for promotional appearances.
The Effects Car was stolen from a Florida aircraft hangar in 1997, and has never been recovered. That leaves the Road Car as the sole surviving screen-featured James Bond DB5, and it’s this car, now owned by collector Harry Yeaggy, that will be appearing at Amelia Island.

Elvis Presley with the 1959 Corvette XP-87 Stingray Racer, which has been restored to as-raced condition with a silver livery Photo courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Elvis Presley with the 1959 Corvette XP-87 Stingray Racer, which has been restored to as-raced condition with a silver livery Photo courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Other cars to be shown include the 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider from 1968’s The Thomas Crown Affair; the 1969 Porsche 917K, in Gulf livery, from 1971’s Le Mans; the 1958 Chevrolet Impala from 1973’s American Graffiti, recently restored by owner Ray Evernham; the 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder from 1976’s Gumball Rally; the 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Riviera Salamanca, from 1954’s Sabrina; the 1959 Corvette XP-87 Stingray Racer, campaigned in SCCA competition by Dr. Dick Thompson and later driven by Elvis Presley in 1967’s Clambake; and one of three Woodill Wildfires to appear in 1954’s Johnny Dark, now owned by Forgotten Fiberglass’s Geoff Hacker.

The Woodill Wildfire is pushed out of the garage in ‘Johnny Dark’ Photo courtesy Geoff Hacker

The Woodill Wildfire is pushed out of the garage in ‘Johnny Dark’
Photo courtesy Geoff Hacker

The 2017 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will take place on March 10-12 at the Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carleton, Amelia Island. For additional information, or to purchase tickets, visit AmeliaConcours.org.

Poster for the 1954 film ‘Johnny Dark’ | Archive

Poster for the 1954 film ‘Johnny Dark’ | Archive

Article courtesy Kurt Ernst, Hemmings Motornews
About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “The Amelia” draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show’s Foundation has donated over $3.0 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc., Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Shop with Cops, and other deserving charities. The 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 10-12, 2017. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org

30 Dec

ClassicCars.com sets 2nd Future Classics Car Show for January 16 during Arizona Auction Week

Brian McCann’s 2005 Nissan 350Z | Hans Marquez photo

Brian McCann’s 2005 Nissan 350Z | Hans Marquez photo

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Every generation has had its love affair with cars, it seems, until we got to the millennials. Cars of the 1980s and ’90s didn’t have the futuristic fins of the ’50s, the flashy style of the ’60’s, nor anything quite like those muscle cars of the ’70s… or so we thought.

At the start of 2016, ClassicCars.com offered collectors with an appreciation for the cars produced from the mid-1970s into the early 21st Century an event of their own: The Future Classics Car Show.

Mercedes-Benz participating in 2016 FCCS | Jacqueline Curry Photo

Mercedes-Benz participating in 2016 FCCS | Jacqueline Curry Photo

The inaugural show, produced with support from Car Street Journal and NicoClub.com, was staged during Arizona Auction Week and attracted more than 100 primarily Japanese and European vehicles to High Street in North Phoenix.

Brian Styles, a Florida-based car collector, pointed out that ’90s Japanese muscle cars “kind of took over where American muscle left off, and they did it in such a way that was ingenious.”

Kids can afford them, adults can afford them, and they have reasonable insurance costs because they have 300 horsepower, but we just gave birth to the whole tuning scene” Styles said.

“When you have a car that looks good at 20 years old, it’s still going to look good at 50 years old. It just will; especially when it has all the right curves.”

His words were illustrated by the inaugural Future Classics Car Show Best of Show winner, a 1977 Toyota Celica GT Notchback with a twin-cam Toyota engine swap.

Acura NSX | Jacqueline Curry Photo

Acura NSX | Jacqueline Curry Photo

ClassicCars.com continues to celebrate the next generation of collector cars by hosting the second Future Classics Car Show, scheduled for January 16, 2017, atop a parking garage at the Scottsdale Quarter, located on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Greenway-Hayden in the heart of auction activity.

Classic Car News’ East Coast Editor Andy Reid returns as head judge for the event, which runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., which provides more time for judging and for people to view the cars. The earlier start is made possible because January 16 also is a holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Ford will be the featured marque, though all makes and models post-1975 are welcome to participate. With limited space, pre-registration is encouraged and a $10 registration fee is payable on the day of the event. Those interested in having a booth or sponsoring part of the show can submit contact details through the event website.

Spectators can enjoy the show at no cost. Anyone can join the conversation via the event hashtag #FCCS2017 and can share a future classic or see others going to the show.

The second annual Future Classic Car Show details are as follows:

  • Date: Monday, January 16th 2017
  • Time: 4pm – 9pm
  • Location: Scottsdale Quarter’s rooftop parking deck.
  • The Future Classics Car Show will feature Domestic, Euro and Japanese cars from 1975 to 2005 with a special award for Instant Classics 2006 – 2017
  • The featured marque will be Ford Motor Company

If you have a future classic you can register your ride here: https://www.futureclassicscarshow.com

Courtesy Classiccars.com

2015 Best of Show 1977 Toyota Celica GT Notchback with twin-cam engine Photo Classiccars.com

2016 Best of Show 1977 Toyota Celica GT Notchback with twin-cam engine
Photo Classiccars.com

19 Dec

‘Bugatti Queen’ featured in women-in-racing seminar at Arizona Concours January 14

Pre-war racing legend Hellé Nice poses on a Bugatti grand prix car | Miranda Seymour archive

Pre-war racing legend Hellé Nice poses on a Bugatti grand prix car | Miranda Seymour archive

Phoenix, Ariz. – It’s not every day you get to drive a million-dollar Bugatti. Author Miranda Seymour remembers well the day when Bugatti restoration expert and preservationist Tim Dutton let her have a chance behind the wheel of a sought-after 35S model.

“Tim took me out in one on the open road, told me it was being sold for a million the next day, and then he let me drive it,” she recalled excitedly. “The feeling of exhilaration is like no other, especially if you are out on the road, ducking between trucks and trying to get the hang of having a gear shift outside of the car.”

Author Miranda Seymour

Author Miranda Seymour

Bugattis feature heavily in Seymour’s motorsports biography of a French racing great. Some 20 years after the passing of Hellé Nice, one of the world’s most influential racing drivers of the 20th century, she finally got her due tribute in a beautifully written 2004 biography by Seymour called The Bugatti Queen.

Coming to center stage before this year’s fourth annual Arizona Concours d’ Elegance at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, Seymour will discuss her account of Nice, who broke records throughout the 1920s and 1930s and played an influential role in paving the way for women in motorsports.

The Concours will welcome Seymour as part of a panel discussion, “Legends: Pioneer Women in Racing,” on Saturday, January 14, at the Biltmore, led by moderator and racing star Lynn St. James, who will also speak. The third panelist is Janet Guthrie, the first woman to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.

Seymour’s 2004 biography of Nice, formally Helene Delangle, details Nice’s colorful life as a dancer, a model and a legendary race driver who rose to fame for her success in the Grand Prix racing events of her time. Bugatti Queen is one of many acclaimed published works by Seymour, who lives in London and Nottinghamshire, England.

Seymour is a visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her skills as a writer are readily seen in the reviews of her work, which critics have called engaging, riveting and elegant.

Hellé Nice at the wheel of a Bugatti racer | Miranda Seymour archive

Hellé Nice at the wheel of a Bugatti racer | Miranda Seymour archive

Bugatti Queen represents more than three years of research on a subject that was not generally well known. Hellé Nice, born in 1900 and raised in a village outside Paris, spent her early career as a model and dancer. Her fast-paced life took her to the ski slopes until she damaged her knee. Nice turned to professional automotive racing in the late 1920s and won her first title in 1929 at an all-female Grand Prix in an Omega-Six.

She set a world land speed record for women, breaking down barriers in what historically was a male-dominated sport. Nice developed a friendship with Jean Bugatti and for a large part of her racing career drove a Bugatti Type 35C. Her racing success continued into the 1940s, when she broke records in endurance trials that still stand today.

Seymour’s inspiration for the book came from her interest in recovering a fascinating life that had been largely forgotten. “Writing about women who’ve been given a raw deal is what always interests me,” she said, adding that she adores Nice’s absolute fearlessness. “She was the only woman who drove on those old fairground tracks in the U.S. where so many died but always laughing.”

Digging up information for the biography wasn’t easy, but Seymour took to the streets to travel the same areas where Nice had lived, to visit the home in which Nice lived, and to network with anyone who knew or was related to Nice. Eventually it paid off. A breakthrough happened when she got her hands on a chest packed to the brim with articles, film clips and photographs.

Seymour discovered a trove of Hellé Nice photos | Miranda Seymour archive

Seymour discovered a trove of Hellé Nice photos | Miranda Seymour archive

“It felt like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” she said. Miranda Seymour’s book is said to offer a “gripping account” of motor racing in Europe and America. Literary Review said Hellé Nice would be “proud to have her story so eloquently and sympathetically retold.”

Miranda’s dream was to be given a Bugatti, but the closest she’s gotten so far is a collection of scale models, and her drive in the 35S. Many of the world’s automotive enthusiasts can relate to such a predicament. Meanwhile, she enjoys motorsports and especially the people involved with it.
Miranda says her next published work will be a book about Lord Byron’s wife and his daughter, Ada Lovelace. “I really do have Lord Byron’s ring on my finger,” she said. “His family lived in my home for a hundred years and Ada used to visit it. I’ll be wearing it in Arizona – of course.”

The “Legends: Pioneer Women in Racing” discussion on Saturday, January 14, is one of three panel discussions taking place on the eve of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance. Starting at 10 am will be the annual Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA) preview of the collector car auctions happening that week, then the Legends panel at noon, followed at 2 pm by “Drive: The Passion Driving Race Team Owners,” also moderated by Lyn St. James with featured guest and Bobby Rahal.

The fourth annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance, January 15, 2017, hosts more than 90 exceptional vintage automobiles competing for awards in 17 classes as well as coveted Best-of-Show. Featured classes for 2017 honor Lincolns of the Classic Era, the Cars of Ettore and Jean Bugatti, and Coachwork by Vignale.

All net proceeds from the nationally recognized Arizona Concours, as well as generous donations from participants and spectators, will benefit Make-A-Wish® Arizona, the founding chapter of the international organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the 2017 Arizona Concours d’Elegance, visit the concours website.

Article courtesy Classiccars.com