Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fords of Bonneville

Cars are not only works of art, they can become works of art!
"A very fascinating subject is the mass movement of anyone that wants to go fast heads to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Southern California. Particularly the folks that bring classic cars to the stark white dry lake bed. This painting is part of a series of pieces that I will do on the subject since the little deuce coupe is among my favorites...While I still have some unfinished work hanging in the studio I have to move forward on a couple of new pieces in order to be timely with a show that is coming up in June...This 1934 Ford Deuce Coupe will be one of those projects."-Bryan David Snuffer

"Love the contrast of this project between the chrome pieces of the car and the raw patina of the paint on the car. "-Bryan David Snuffer

"I love painting chrome and the simple reflections in this car are just right. Two days approximately in the production of this project. As you can see from earlier posts that it is often odd how things progress. I am an impatient person and I can't let the grass grow under my feet before I am moving along to the next painting."-Bryan David Snuffer

The Fords of Bonneville 18x24" acrylic on masonite.
Bryan is a super talented painter who loves painting cars, you can check out this piece and more of his work at, Bryan David Snuffer .

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dave's Home of Chrome

This is another one of those "Life" images that caught us back in the day. A time when you could take your ride down to Dave's and find all kinds of goodies. I can't imagine leaving all that stuff out would be easy pickin' for thugs to grab and throw on "Craig's List."

Life at Dave's Home of Chrome, 1957
"Dave's Home of Chrome" had one of the largest selections of custom car accessories, hubcaps (check out the Fiesta and Moon caps), spotlites, fender skirts, lake pipes, mufflers, speed equipment, engines, etc. in Southern California. At the time, Dave's was located in Compton and was one of SoCal's original custom shops and lasted until 1978 when it was purhased by a tire and auto superstore that had started as "The Big House of Chrome."
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toyota 2000 GT / A Day Japan Broke The Mold

With such heartbreaking turmoil in Japan at this time, and the fact that this blog has quite a few Japanese enthusiasts following, it may be nice to take a look back at a better day.

The 2000 GT was very important for Toyota Motor Company because it proved to the world that they could produce sports cars not just grocery getter's. The design was done by Raymond Loewy of Yamaha (check comments below), with a body comprised of aluminum and a 2.0L straight six; transformed by Yamaha with double overhead cams to produce 150HP.

The world got their first look at the Toyota 2000 GT at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show. Image, Toyota

Production vehicles were built between 1967 and 1970 with only 337 Toyota 2000 GTs produced. Image, Toyota

In 1967, Toyota entered into an agreement with Carroll Shelby to develop the 2000 GT for SCCA C-Production competition. Immediately the 2000 GTs needed more development. The drivers praised the handling, which was enhanced by custom made 15×7 magnesium wheels with special low profile racing tires, and very low suspension (the wheels and tires alone lowered the ride height by 2.5inches). However, the Yamaha-designed head was not easy to modify for more compression, which lead to initial engine failures, and C/Prod rules stipulated that the 2000GT would have to use triple Mikuni carbs, rather than the preferred Webers, which would have yielded more power. Just the same, the racing cars rolled onto the grid for the 1968 season with 200hp and with reliability issues sorted.

Former "Formula One" driver Ronnie Bucknum testing the car for the first time at Riverside Raceway on September 6, 1967 in chassis number 10001. Image, Toyota

Toyota 2000 GT at the SCCA Pacific Grand Prix held at San Diego Stadium in 1968. Image, SD Union/Tribune

Impeccably prepared, the Shelby Toyota's brought the fight to the class leading Porsche 911s, run by the renowned Vasek Polak Racing and other SoCal teams. The races were close and hard, with lots of paint-swapping. All told, the drivers of the Toyota's racked up four wins, eight 2nd place finishes, and six 3rd place finishes, but at the end of the season it was the Porsche 911s 1st and 2nd, with the Toyota's of Scooter Patrick and Dave Jordan in 3rd and 4th respectively.

Unfortunately, Toyota informed the Shelby Team that at the end of 1968 it would be pulling out of the championship race, leaving the 2000 GT with unfulfilled potential. However, the mold was broken!

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rennsport Reunion IV / Here It Comes!

The 2011 Rennsport Reunion IV will be held at Laguna Seca from October 14-16. The first time held on the West Coast.

Legendary automotive artist Dennis Simon was once again chosen to create the event posters for Porsche's Rennsport Reunion, a not-quite-annual gathering of historic Porsche racecars.

Sponsored by PCNA, Rennsport Reunion IV brings together an unprecedented gathering of significant Porsche vintage and current race cars, as well those who have driven them to victory in the world’s most famous sports car races. The three-day program of on-track competition is complemented by a concours d’elegance (find a link to this on the "calendar" page), which is open to invited race participants, and special activities celebrating the decade-long, illustrious history of the legendary 911 race cars.

“While the Rennsport name has become a staple fixture for international collectors and racers over the past ten years, choosing the Monterey Peninsula will open up this one-of-a-kind gathering to the many Porsche fans in California and beyond who were previously unable to attend,” said Detlev von Platen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Cars North America. “Now they’ll have the opportunity to see, feel and hear from up close hundreds of famous Porsche race cars and dozens of their drivers from past and present during a truly memorable weekend dedicated to Porsche’s motorsport heritage.”

Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV will assemble the wide variety of Porsche’s most historic racing models from the nimble 550 Spyder of the mid-Fifties through the mighty 917 and 956/962 of the Seventies and Eighties to the highly successful RS Spyder of the last decade.

This is an event not to be missed!

Laguna Seca link here.

Hotel link here.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Micro Art / Sports Car Racing Programs ... 1950's

In this day of push-button high tech computer graphics, and high gloss print material, it's fun to look back to a time when covers of race programs were done with drawings, or B&W photos. Creativity done by X-acto knife in hand, then waxed and pasted on thin cardboard layout boards. The words, images and colors were carefully cut overlays, photographed and burned into plates for printing. Most were two color, since the use of four color was cost prohibitive.

These images are of Sports Car Race programs in the 50's held in California, provided by blog follower Marty Goldsmith. They're simple little works of art depicting humor and speed, at race tracks that no long exist.

Some of those competing in the 4th Santa Barbara Road Races were Ken Miles in his MG Special, James Dean in his Porsche Speedster, and Jack McAfee in his Porsche 550 Spyder.

Some running at the 6th Torrey Pines Road Races were Lance Reventlow in a MB 300SL, Kjell Qvale in a Lancia Spyder, and Ernie McAfee in a Ferrari Monza.

Competing at the 1st Grand Central Sports Car Races were, John von Neuman in a Porsche 550 Spyder, Pete Lovely in a Porsche Cooper, and Richie Ginther in a Ferrari Mondial.

The 9th Palm Springs Road Races had Ignacio Lozano in a D type Jaguar, E. Forbes-Robinson in an MGA, and Dan Gurney in a Triumph TR-2.

And lastly, some of those competing at the 5th Santa Barbara Road Races were Bob Bondurant in a Morgan+4, Chuck Daigh in a Troutman-Barnes Special, and Ken Miles in a Porsche 550 Spyder.

As you can read, this was a "Who's Who" of racing.

Related Post: Micro Art #2

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Friday, March 11, 2011

"Like A Moth" / 1961 Watkins Glen Grand Prix

At a swap meet a few weeks ago, I noticed something kinda' weird. Shuffling by one of the vendors, I felt like a moth being sucked towards a burning light at midnight. There "it" was, under an elderly, frail gentleman's tent, resting inside one of his protective glass cases, I spied a primary-colored, old water transfer decal. However, not just any old decal, this was some 50 odd years old, a decal of the '61 Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. I asked if I could take a closer look. As the case slowly creaked open with the help of his shaking hands, the decal was set free into my fingers. I began to remember those "mini-art" paintings that decorated the car windows of travelers back then ... as to proudly say, "I was there." The owner started to reminisce with stories about the younger than him Dan Gurney and getting his autograph. He spoke in a tired soft voice about flag working a corner at that race. He kept this as a souvenir, never installing it, fearing the car it was placed on would pass. He uttered, "You seem to have taken' a liking to it." I responded, "I love it, it's cool." I had to have it!

The deal was was mine. Then it hit me, what was I going to do with it? Would I put it on a car? No, what would be the point, neather I nor my car had been there. He had been the caretaker of it, keeping memories of a time long past, of younger days in his youth. It was decided, it would come home and rest in one of my display cases. I would now become the caretaker and have the opportunity to tell the story of his passion for that time in his life.

Watkins Glenn Grand Prix decal ...1961

The first races in Watkins Glen were initiated by Cameron Argetsinger, whose family had a summer home in the area.

After two less than successful US Formula One events in 1959 at Sebring and 1960 at Riverside, promoters were looking for a new venue for an American Grand Prix in 1961. Just six weeks before the scheduled date for another Formula Libre race that fall, Argetsinger was tapped to get Watkins Glen ready to host the final round of the Formula One World Championship instead. While many of the necessary preparations had already been made for the Formula Libre race, new pits were constructed for the F1 Grand Prix according to the European style of pit boxes with overhead cover. Seven American drivers participated, and the race was won by British driver Innes Ireland with American Dan Gurney second.

'73 Ticket image,via.

The United States Grand Prix at The Glen quickly became an autumnal tradition as huge crowds of knowledgeable racing fans flocked to upstate New York each year amid the spectacular fall colours. It was long known around the world as the home of the United States Grand Prix, which it hosted for 20 consecutive years 1961 to 1980.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day in the Life...Pickers

Collectors picked through cardboard boxes, while the average Joes cruised back and forth between rows with an array of carts, wagons and back-packs full of goodies. It was a cool selection of vintage tools, expired license plates, wheels, race parts and other neat piles of stuff. You could procure just about anything that was made for a Porsche at this swap meet. It was a treasure trove for the eyes.

The 356 Club SoCal - Phoenix Club Swap Meet ...2011

Commercial vendors as well as small dealers sold small parts and pieces, body parts, waxes, and seats, for any model car.

Now it's a long-drawn-out wait for next year.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

1962 Southside Winter Nationals Indoor Drags

Fellow blog follower Jon Guilmet, passed these images on to me. He had never heard of these races, nor had I, but it seems that the weather was not going to stop drag racing.

Before McCormick Place was built in Chicago, there was the International Amphitheater, built in 1934 by the owner of the stockyards across the street. It had a long history prior to its demolition in the late 1990′s.

The Amphitheater was intended to host the International Live Stock Exhibition, but also became the venue for the Ringling Circus, the Chicago Auto Show, music concerts including Elvis in 1957 and the Beatles in 1964. The most unlikely event to be held there, was the 1962 Southside Winter Nationals. Oh yeah, who could forget the 1968 Democratic Convention…

It seems, racing promoter Bill Schade, well known at the time for hosting NASCAR races at Soldier Field until 1964, came up with the plan. Working in conjunction with the United States Auto Club (USAC), he wanted to bring drag racing inside through the winter months in the Windy City.

With USAC sanctioning the event, the first-ever indoor drag races took place on December 30, 1962. The “track” was a 440-foot stretch of the Amphitheater, with each lane being 60-feet wide and bordered by steel Armco guard rail. The temporary stripes were put down with lime on the surface. According to accounts from the event, several hundred cars showed up to race, finding the concrete slab floor “like racing on ice.”

Adding to the racers’ excitement was the 660-foot shutdown area that required them to exit the building, still at high speed, through a set of roll-up truck doors. As you’ll see in photos from the event, not everyone made it unscathed.

You can also see in the photos that this was a popular event, by the number of cars in the staging lanes, and the number of spectators at the sides in the stands.

There was a second event held on January 5, 1964. The first event’s success drew top name local racers such as Mr. Norm from Grand-Spaulding Dodge, and famed Pontiac racer, Arnie Beswick. However, despite the A-list turnout, it would be the last indoor drag race at the International Amphitheater. Bill Schade and his co-promoter of the Soldier Field stock car races, Carl Bledsoe, called it quits that same year. via

Spectators and racers waiting to get in. -Wayne Bryant, Omega-Photo

Staging lanes inside the Amphitheater. -Wayne Bryant, Omega-Photo
A relatively new Ford Falcon heads for the finish. -Wayne Bryant, Omega-Photo

Ford vs Chevy Battle...classic. -Wayne Bryant, Omega-Photo

Notice the push limer in the foreground. -Wayne Bryant, Omega-Photo

Corvette vs. Austin Healey Sprite on a slick surface. -Wayne Bryant, Omega-Photo

Not all finished unscathed. -Wayne Bryant, Omega-Photo

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

La Jolla Motor Car Classic ...2011

Now here's a seductive show coming up for all you SoCal car addicts, that includes all kinds of bitchin' cars. It's the "La Jolla Motor Car Classic." This year the featured marque is German, which means the Porsches will be given extra consideration for entry into any or all events. There is a Motor tour on Saturday, April 2, 2011 for 75 cars. It will start at the San Diego Auto Museum and visit three different, very special private car collections around San Diego. Coffee and doughnuts are provided in the morning and lunch is provided at one of the stops. The show is Sunday April 3, 2011 at the park overlooking La Jolla Cove. The main show is for pre-1985 cars and judged under CCCA rules. Porsches will have their own classes within the German specialty classes, if there are enough entered. This is a background image of the Poster that will be available for purchase at the event. There is also a German Marque Car Corral for 30 cars. This is for cars that may not be eligible for the main show due to age, patina, etc. The car corral will also be judged with trophies awarded. The cars will be judged on quality of presentation and originality. The link for more information and to enter any of the events is

Click on "Exhibitors" to find the information for the various events and online entry applications.

Check back for an insiders view of judging at this years show.

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