Sad News After 52 years, drag racing at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park comes to an end – Kurt Ernst at Hemmings

Raceway Park also known as Englishtown has become the latest famous drag strip to close it’s doors.

Read Kurt Ernst’s article here

As you can see by the amount of comments on the article you can see it’s being taken as badly as you would expect

Ford introduces 2019 Bullitt Mustang alongside long-hidden 1968 original – Kurt Ernst at Hemmings

Photo by Ronan Glon

The Bullitt hero car alongside the 2019 Bullitt Mustang at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the limited-production Bullitt model to command a premium over the $43,990 base price of a 2018 Mustang GT Premium with the Performance Package. Ford is expecting deliveries to begin in the summer of 2018.

Read the article here at Hemmings

For some great pictures of the original Bullitt Mustang here on Jalopnik

Some more Bullitt stuff from a previous article

 

 

Massive Fire Damages Country Classic Cars in Staunton Illinois

Whilst I was doing some research on the California wildfire and the damage to car collections I came across this story about a devastating fire at  Country Classic Cars in Staunton Illinois from back in August 2017.

This was particularly upsetting having visited the site on a previous visit to the U.S.

More detail and video footage of the fire can be found here

Almost bougtht a Chevy Truck on my previous visit to Staunton read the article  here 

Here are some pre-fire pictures taken during my visit

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, and an Epic Quest to arm an America at War – by A.J. Baime

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“The Arsenal of Democracy” was a phrase coined by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1940 in reference to the collaborative efforts of American industry in supporting the allied war effort by mobilising the mass production efforts to change production from consumer and other products to plane, tanks, bombs and other item required to win the war

As with all of A J Baime’s books this one is well researched and shows a deep knowledge of Detroit industry and in particular Ford Motor Company in wartime. The intricacies of the complex Father & Son relationship between Henry I and Edsel and the rise of Henry II are well described, along with Edsel Ford’s largely unsung role. Having read extensively on the subject of the early Ford Motor Company this book is a great addition and provided many new angles and facts.

A great read!

As an interesting footnote to the story of Willow Run, there is a campaign to stop the demolition of the bomber plant.

Read about it here

GM says it’s mass-producing cars without steering wheels

Article from Aurora Biz

The company says it has filed a petition with the federal government seeking permission to put the vehicles on the road sometime next year with no human backup drivers.

DETROIT | General Motors says it is making the first mass-production autonomous car without a steering wheel or pedals.

The company says it has filed a petition with the federal government seeking permission to put the vehicles on the road sometime next year with no human backup drivers.

Read the rest of the article here

Sources Associated Press & Aurora Sentinel

Members Rally To Evacuate Vintage BMWs From the California Wildfires

A California wildfire good news story from the BMW Car Club of America

With wildfires looming on the edge of Sonoma, and evacuation in effect, Jim Smith faced a nightmare of logistics: His collection of vintage BMWs, ranging from a 1929 Dixi to a pair of 502 Baroque Angels—not to mention the 315/1 and 328 roadsters, the 327 cabriolets, the lone surviving 327 pillarless coupe, and an Isetta or two—would have to be moved. But only two or three of the cars had even been started in the last few years. With time running short, and skies darkened by smoke and ash, Smith called friends in the BMW CCA—who called other friends, friends with trailers, friends with firm bonds of affection for Smith and his cars, which had often been featured at Monterey.

Read the rest of Nate Risch’s story here

 

Hagerty Insurance Reacts to the California Wildfires

Following my recent article on the heartbreaking destruction of car collections by the California wildfires, I thought I’d look into how the Classic Car insurers are reacting.

Hagerty seem to be leading the pack as is often the way it seems?

Jonathan Klinger VP of PR for Hagerty was quoted in The ClassicCars.com Journal in an article by Bob Golfen here

“Obviously, we’ re most concerned about people’s safety and personal well-being, but it sure is a shame when you hear of someone losing a collector car they’re so passionate about,” said Jonathan Klinger, spokesman for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. “When you start to hear stories of vehicles that have been in the family and passed down through the generations, that’s always tough.”

Most of the collector cars, trucks and motorcycles lost to recent hurricanes and floods in other parts of the country could be salvaged to some extent, Klinger noted, but the vehicles lost to the fires were utterly destroyed with nothing left to soften the blow.

“So that’s the big difference between the hurricanes and the fires,” Klinger said. “Virtually all the cars were salvageable from the hurricanes. Even in the worst-case scenario, there are parts that are salvageable. In the case of these fires, that’s not happening.

“The vehicles that burned up in the fires, we’re not just talking about smoke damage or paint. You’ve seen the pictures, they’re gone, there’s no salvaging them

Also from Hagerty

Wildfires and floods destroy cars, so protecting documents is vital

Benjamin Preston has written an informative article on the Hagerty website regarding claims and the importance of documentation

In California, strong Santa Ana winds are raking wildfire across a desiccated California landscape, destroying countless acres of property and putting lives in danger. In the fire’s wake there are twisted, blackened hulks, which until recently were beloved vintage cars and trucks. Property can be replaced, but when calamity strikes and a classic car enthusiast’s once-gleaming pride and joy is reduced to smoldering wreckage, it’s good to have ownership documentation handy when filing an insurance claim. Without proof of ownership, it can be more difficult to lay hands on much-needed, post-disaster insurance money.

Read the rest of Benjamin’s article here

On a personal note this is particularly upsetting as we’ve holidayed in these areas over the years and seeing the residents and wildlife in distress and beautiful areas destroyed is terrible.

 

 

Car Collections Suffer in California Wildfires

Some heartbreaking stories from car collectors as a result of the recent California wildfires, pales into insignificance against the loss of human and animal life but it’s a sad sight nonetheless.

 

Example Story

Scott Birdsall and his wife were asleep in their Santa Rosa home when the fire started. They awoke not to the sounds of sirens or banging on their door, but to the wailing of 80-mph winds that rattled the windows and shook the cars parked out front.

The blaze was less than a block from their house when Birdsall and his family fled. When Birdsall returned days later, like so many other Coffey Park residents, he found his home and belongings reduced to ash and rubble.

Among the detritus was his fleet of vintage cars. Birdsall, the owner of hot-rod shop Chuckles Garage, shared photos on his garage’s Instagram page of the cars before the fire, and after. The post-fire images show heaps of crunched steel, stained a fuzzy reddish-brown and melted beyond recognition.

Read the full story here

Residents flee Rincon Valley because of Tubbs Fire with antique vehicles

Here you can see the video

Car collector shows before and after photographs of his destroyed collection following California’s deadliest wildfire in history

Read more here

Reduced to ashes: Classic cars burned in California fires add to the devastation

Read more here

The Stoner T: How to build a hot rod in 10 years (and influence people), part two – Dan Stoner Hemmings

Here’s part two of Dan Stoner’s Model T Hot Rod build, it’s as entertaining as the first!

The first chapter of the Stoner T story ended in the Summer of 2003, when nearly the entire front end of the rolling chassis was stolen from the open carport behind my apartment building. This is the right moment to mention how lucky I’ve been throughout this hot-rod Iliad: Just when everything seems to go wrong, it all goes so right…

Read on here