Guest Post: That’s Our House Now

Today’s guest post is a bit of fiction-loosely-based-on-real-events from RG reader John Curry. It may not be appropriate for all ages — jb

“Motherf…” Joe muttered when the fan blade hit his head as he stumbled to his bedroom in the attic he and his dad rented from their boss. “The one thing from home I didn’t miss when I was in that GD sandbox.” He sat down on his bed and chugged a Nalgene of water so he wouldn’t be hungover in the morning. Joe’s dad had joked with him before he left the house earlier that night. “Don’t be trying to puss out of work tomorrow morning because your head hurts. I’ve seen you leave at the ass crack of dawn Saturday morning to try and fix some chick’s car playing Captain Save-A-Hoe.” Joe could work harder hungover than most men could work sober. That hard work led him from side jobs and summer work to help with bills when he was a teenager — to Afghanistan after he graduated and didn’t really have a better plan.

When he got his DD214, he still didn’t really have a plan. Going back to work fixing tractors for his dad’s boss, a man he always knew as “Mr. Owen”, seemed like the most reasonable thing. Joe’s uncle had researched their family history; they’d been farming around here since white people had found the land, but a family weakness for the bottle had taken them from owning land to working on other people’s land generations before Joe was swimming in his dad’s nutsack. “A man ain’t ever worth a damn unless he’s got a piece of land to call his own,” Dad always used to say, in between labored breaths. Decades of cowboy killers and 7018 fumes had made his lungs work about as well as the liquor made his liver work.

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Formula 1 Before the Beautiful People

Note: Another guest submission by Patrick King. -TK
Now that the Big Three road and street races in this part of Florida are behind us my attention turns to media coverage and in-person access at Formula One events in the current year compared to days past. This weekend, F1 TV Pro will present me with six hours of on-track activity from Italy, plus endless commentary before and after each practice/qualifying/sprint session and the race itself, in stereo though my Klipsch speakers – unbroken by commercials – for a prorated cost of $2.83. To show my appreciation, here’s the official name of the Grand Prix formerly known as Imola:

FORMULA 1 ROLEX GRAN PREMIO DEL MADE IN ITALY E DELL’EMILIA-ROMAGNA 2022

My interest in Formula One has waxed and waned since the early sixties, spiking at milestones like Frankenheimer’s “Grand Prix” and camping at Watkins Glen to watch Jackie Stewart run away from the field in 1970 only to be felled by a broken oil line in his first race with the new Tyrrell 001, allowing an unknown youngster named Emerson Fittipaldi to win his first Grand Prix. Later, the Canadian Grand Prix became my home F1 race, Montreal being less than a five hour drive from Boston.

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BMWs and More!

Note: Another submission by regular RG reader, Patrick King. -TK

My second car after a ’69 Dodge Dart GTS 340 was a new 1971 BMW 2002 that left the dealership with many hot rod modifications (although the 45 DCOEs didn’t go on until a 3,000 mile break-in period was complete).

My ’71 autocrossing in ’75.

I daily drove, autocrossed and tracked that car for six years until it was pretty much beaten into submission by my driving style and the Boston winters. Continue Reading →

Mopar Memories

Note: Today’s post is by frequent commenter and regular RG reader, Patrick King. Enjoy. -TK
My parents didn’t drive so when I got my license and convinced them we needed a “family car” I suggested a 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 340, yellow with black interior, black vinyl roof and black bumblebee stripe. It was hardly a random choice: I’d been devouring the buff books since I was eight and loved what few imports existed but, being sixteen, I wanted a muscle car and my friend’s ‘65 GTO convertible seemed too large and unwieldy. Also, the Dodge was unibody, unlike the large, body-on-frame GM and Ford hot rods. Everything I read pointed to the Dart. But what really enticed me about the Mopar was the brand-new thin-wall, high-performance small block 340 introduced the year before to combat the small block Chevy. At the time I could quote all the specs of this engine, from its compression ratio to the windage tray in its oil pan (to the great amusement of my chortling uncles who would ask me to perform my routine as if I were reciting the latest Dylan lyrics).

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A Cimarron By Another Name

Note: Today’s guest post was written by a mystery contributor! Enjoy. -TK

We all know the story of the Cadillac Cimarron, a badge engineered J-body created to be an entry level offering from Cadillac in the early 1980’s. Many “enthusiasts” (who lease homely imports like CR-Vs with absolutely no sense of irony) like to beat up on the Cimarron and make an example of it for their own amusement and inflate their tiny egos. They wax poetically about how crappy they were, how they were the turning point in history and the reason why Cadillac fell from grace, and how it was the beginning of the end for General Motors, who they feel deserved to die.  Heck, some self-proclaimed journalists even call it a Sin of some sort (as he or she may or may not drive to Dollar Tree for ramen noodles). Continue Reading →

1973 Buick Electra 225 Coupe: Brougham Whisperer Buick

Note: Today’s Guest Post is by Jason Bagge, AKA The Brougham Whisperer, who most of you may recall from the many ’70s land yachts of his I’ve featured here at RG the past few years. -TK

Well-the ’74 New Yorker sold. Going to a collector in Florida who restores these back to original. Same guy who bought Chris’ 1976 Cadillac Calais in Idaho. So with that-here comes the ’73 455 2 door Buick Deuce and a quarter.

The car, upon arrival.

I’m going to change out the wheels and tires. Back to new whitewalls and hubcaps. I’m going to store the rallyes away with the original tires on them. Planning on going cruising with my Dad next weekend. The whole car is pretty gangster. It just has that vibe. Continue Reading →

Guest Post: The Ark On Parade In Hyannis

Note: Today’s guest post is by my friend Laurie Kraynick, whose excellent 1970 Fleetwood Brougham has previously been discussed here and here. Enjoy. -TK

On a scale of 1-10 the weather was a 12, just a GORGEOUS, warm, sunny, breezy day at the beach
for a classic car parade and show. All sponsored by the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, the
folks who SHOULD HAVE HAD the annual Father’s Day Car Show this year but wilted to the wishes of all the restaurant and other common retailers on Main Street Hyannis because they lost so much
money last year and this year due to the Hyannis Puritans crushing the local economy with flu
mandates – but I digress….

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1971 Stutz Blackhawk: Ostentatious Ostentation

NOTE: Another submission by my friend in Sweden, Billie Biscayne. She previously wrote a column on the Chrysler Plainsman ‘dream car.’ If you missed that one, check it out here. Cheers. -TK

This is the tale of one of the most ostentatious and flamboyant neo-classic luxury “rat rods” ever created, and some of the eccentric, unorthodox and rather dubious owners it has had since 1971!

It all started in the late 1800’s with an Ohio farm boy who had a natural talent for engineering. Harry Stutz assembled his first gasoline powered vehicle, a creation he called “Old Hickory”, mainly from bits and pieces of old farming equipment. One can only assume that he refined these skills somewhat over the years as he later went on to become the founder of The Stutz Motor Company (originally Ideal Motor Company) in 1911. The first car rolled off the production line in Indianapolis, Indiana, that very year and Stutz Motor Company continued to build high-end sports and luxury cars, like the Bearcat and the Blackhawk, there until 1935 when they unfortunately became yet another automobile manufacturer to succumb to the Great Depression. Continue Reading →

Guest Rental Review: 2020 BMW 330i Premium Pack

Please give a warm welcome to Nick and his Rental Review, sent to me on November 17, 2020 but just published now! I’m sitting on a backlog of great contributions that will be trickling out in the month to come. If you’d like to see your name in here, let me know — jb

Making good on a promise to my youngest son, I picked up a Melbourne Red 2020 BMW 330i (G20) with a Premium Pack from Enterprise, upgrading from a full-size using points accumulated from a few 15-passenger van rentals and a little work travel. The plan – cannonball 1,100 miles to and from Northeast Indiana to Statesville, NC and back in a weekend for some mining, creeking, and fluming.

With my BMW experience limited to driving a friend’s dad’s E36 330i 6MT and a racing teammates’ 228i M-Sport 6MT, I went into this with an open mind and hoped for an improvement over the CVT Fusion Hybrid or Malibu in the full-size area, and the Chrysler 300 in the PXAR zone.

I made the wrong choice.

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Cal Rayborn: The Life and Death of an Icon

Note: Another one from Lee Wilcox! Enjoy. -TK

Some would make the case that Cal Rayborn was as much a natural as Mike Hailwood, even though you won’t find his name on a list of most Grand National wins. Only those riders good on both pavement and dirt make such lists, and Cal’s ability and drive belonged with road racing. He stayed with Harley well past the period in which they were competitive, thus proving the point that it’s difficult for loyalty and blind ambition to coexist.

If you lived outside the United States, you might not have heard of him but for one remarkable week in 1972, when he competed against some of the world’s best. While comparing riders is not the intent of this article, a discussion of road races often includes comparison among Rayborn, Hailwood and Kenny Roberts (who, in my opinion, probably was the most complete racer of that group). That said, I shall proceed  to relate the story of the life and death of the remarkable Cal Rayborn.

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