End of Summer Car Detailing Hints

Daughter Mo giving her Focus the once over.

Daughter Mo giving her Focus the once over.

Everyone has their favorite and special car detailing hints and tricks, plus their preferred brand of products. I certainly don’t know it all, but have been shining up cars for more than 40 years, so I can only share what I’ve learned, and others can employ my thoughts or refute them as they wish.

The question I’m always asked is “what kind of wax do you use” and the variation “which wax is best.”  The answer to both, really, is that “the best wax you’ll actually use and apply to your car instead of letting it age and go bad on a shelf in your garage” with the footnote of, “that depends on your car and what kind of paint it wears and what shape its in.”

Unlike most great red wine, car detail products don’t get better with age.  I remember when my folks moved out of their big house, the one that I grew up in, and it bothered me that when cleaning out the garage, we threw away bottle after bottle and tin after tin of wax and other good detail products that had gone bad over time.  By then his health was such that he couldn’t do this job on his cars any more, and even though I’d get over there a few times a year to do them, I never used up the stuff fast enough, or enough of it at a time, to use it before it timed out.

So buy good quality products, and use them up, rather than age them out and throw out the leftover gunk.  Most of what I’m talking about here is maximizing and protecting recent paint jobs that are in generally good shape.  If you have an old car with a lacquer and clear paint job, or faded single stage paint that you’re trying to bring back, I recommend you seek out professional guidance about your specific situation.

Frequency is another big question; sorry but there’s no such thing as “once a year car wax.”    These products are designed to shine and protect for a certain amount of time, then they wear away with exposure and frequent washing, and need to be renewed and redone to keep your car tip top all the time.

My Labor Day weekend plan is to get all over my black 911 with Surf City's Black Edge products.

My Labor Day weekend plan is to get all over my black 911 with Surf City’s Black Edge products.

As to brands, everyone has their faves and preferences.  I’ve tried them all.  The detail supply shelves in my garage are filled with Mothers, Meguiar’s, Surf City Garage, and a fairly new brand called Pinnacle, recommended to me by my friend Wayne Carini.  I’ve had good luck with all of these, as well as others from time to time.  They all supply a variety of products, from car washes, all sorts of polishes and waxes, vinyl, leather, rubber, tire and plastic treatments, and so forth.  They all have websites that describe their products in detail and they jobs they are designed for; you can learn a lot by trolling their on line marketplaces.

Without giving you a blow by grind treatise on every step of how to detail your car, I offer these semi random thoughts:

Keep your garage and your kitchen separated.  The harsh soaps and cleaners that cut the grease off your dishes, or remove spots from your clothes, are really harsh on your paint and trim.  All the big brands make car wash liquids specially formulated to float away dirt and remove modest stains without drying our paint and vinyl.   Some people say “don’t use soap on your car” which I say is wrong.  Use soap, but use the right soap.  Keep the harsh kitchen products in that room only please.

Begin with a clean dry car.  I like to wash my car the night before I plan to detail it, and then leave it overnight in the garage to dry.  I also like the garage as the best place to do the detail job; its out of direct sun, but warm enough in most instances to properly dry the wax and protectant products I’m using for easy removal.  Plus I have a small wheeled mechanics’ stool that I use when working on the sides of the car instead of bending over or crawling around on my knees.  If you have a two car garage, take the second one out and park the machine you’re working on diagonally in the garage to allow you access to all sides, front and back.

Most top car care companies produce various lines of liquids and pastes, employing natural material and synthetics; try a variety and see what you like and what looks best on your car.

Most top car care companies produce various lines of liquids and pastes, employing natural material and synthetics; try a variety and see what you like and what looks best on your car.

Old school paste wax or liquid?  Everyone has ideas about this, and I use both for different cars.  Nothing provides the warm glow of carnuba paste, but of course its more time consuming to apply and to remove, although so much easier than the heavy dark pastes of yesteryear.  If I’m doing my all black single stage paint 911, I take the time and effort to use Carnuba paste.  Takes longer, lots of work, but the result warms your heart.

One step or multistage waxing process?  Again, horses for courses.  I use both depending upon the car , time on hand, and my mood.  The best results come from using detailer’s clay and/or a cleaner polish first, then waxing over that.  As with most things, effort equals results.  Some of the one-step cleaner/waxes do a credible job of accomplishing both things, but ultimately aren’t as effective as doing each process independently of the other.  And remember that with most of these products, less is more.  Two think coats of most anything comes out much better than an overly thick application of anything.

Pinnacle makes a line of upper end detail products that many pro detailers and show car preppers prefer.

Pinnacle makes a line of upper end detail products that many pro detailers and show car preppers prefer.

Buffer or by hand?  Yes to both.  A modern orbital buffer saves time and effort, and the yellow foam heads that most of them use do a wonderful job of helping polish the paint and removing fine scratches.  Sometimes I’ll use my buffer to prep and polish the paint then follow up with Carnuba by hand.  I particularly like my Mothers Wax Attack “palm buffer”; its light, strong enough to do the job, and the foam pads come on and off with Velcro.

Wheels and tires are a whole nuther subject, and entire books have been written about them.  I use lots of car wash solution and water to clean the tires with a stiff brush, and also invest the time to really get in and clean all the nooks and crannies in the wheels (with a not too stiff brush), and around the lug nuts.  Then polish and wax your wheels too, plus some good tire treatment to keep the rubber fresh and looking black with a modest gloss.

When you’re done polishing and waxing, but before you treat your tires, rubber trim and plastic, wash the car again with cold water and no soap.  It “sets” the wax you just applied, and rinses away any powder residue, which many products don’t leave so much any more.

Invest in some good towels..and don't forget the interior.

Invest in some good towels..and don’t forget the interior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New tech microfiber towels or just plain old used up hotel and beach towels?  For washing and drying I like worn out bath sheets or beach towels cut in half.  But for wax and polish removal, I strongly recommend micro fiber towels.  The really pull the wax off nicely and don’t scratch.  All the detail product houses make and sell them.  Use and rewash and they last a long time and do a great job.

There are also a variety of spray waxes, “quick detailers,” waterless wash products and such, which offer differrng benefits in between full details and washes.  Also get one of the world famous “California Car Dusters” and dust your care often, it’ll stay cleaner longer and your wax job will last longer too.

Some new things from Mothers, and both work great.

Some new things from Mothers, and both work great.

The last and best thing you can do to protect car post detail is to keep a cover on it when it has to sit in the sun for days on end.  A modern, lightweight cover of synthetic materials breathes and keeps moisture from trapping underneath it, and protects everything from the perils of sun and airborn pollutants.  Honestly, most covers won’t keep your car that clean, but do wonders to avoid ageing your paint, interior, and trim.  I’m big on them.

As I mentioned, there are lots of great products on the market, more and better than ever.  Each of these companies’ websites has tutorials and lots of good advice about what is best to use when and where.  Plus a ton of stuff on YouTube.

Most importantly is that you identify products that you like and work on your car, then use them often, which not only keeps your car looking great, but then they don’t age out, go bad, and waste your money without having a shiny car.

And it’s a great physical workout too.  There, I’ve crowned a new term: Aerobic Car Detailing.  Enjoy, and stay shiny.

 

 

Gasser Tribute II coming to the ADM this Saturday

One of my favorite car museums is holding a most interesting event this weekend, and i thought you might enjoy knowing about it...MS

One of my favorite car museums is holding a most interesting event this weekend, and i thought you might enjoy knowing about it…MS

In 2014 the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) hosted their first ever “Tribute to Gassers” event. With much success and popular demand, the museum is proud to bring back “Tribute to Gassers II – LEGENDS” exhibit and show on Saturday, August 29, 2015. The ADM will be hosting the event to Gasser enthusiasts from all over Los Angeles County from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Robert Rey’s Royal Pro-Motion will be organizing the show while Gasser Wars Magazine and Hot Rod Deluxe Magazine will be sponsoring the event with a fantastic display of nostalgic Gasser cars. Edelbrock, Mooneyes, Blair’s Speed Shop, and Service Center, well know speed shops from the era will also be in attendance.

The car life being lived a quarter mile at a time.  That's Gassin.

The car life being lived a quarter mile at a time. That’s Gassin.

Last year's gasser tribute takes over the ADM.  A place you should visit anyway.

Last year’s gasser tribute takes over the ADM. A place you should visit anyway.

The ADM is proud to present this impressive and radical segment of automotive history to our visitors. For those who can’t wait, the ADM’s exhibit will be available for view from August 22nd to September 30th, 2015. Join us August 29, 2015 for a special day of Gassers at the Automobile Driving Museum. Come see these fabulous vehicles and hear from the “Real Gasser Legends” such as Jim Kirby, Ed “Isky” Iskenderian, Robert “Bones” Balogh and Scott Dapron from Mickey Thompson Racing.

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Always a star, and always my friend: Ed Isky Iskenderian, the Camfather at only 93 years old...still mighty sharp and a great on camera intereview.

Always a star, and always my friend: Ed Isky Iskenderian, the Camfather at only 93 years old…still mighty sharp and a great on camera intereview.

About the ADM:
The Automobile Driving Museum is a unique venue for auto enthusiasts. Not only is the museum filled with over 130 vintage, antique, and muscle cars; but is also the only museum that takes you for a ride in them. The ADM is conveniently located at 610 Lairport Street, just ½ mile south of LAX in beautiful El Segundo, CA. 90254. Admissions is a requested donation of $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children (11-17) and 10 and under are free. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Mondays. The ADM is host to many events for families as well as auto enthusiasts and is a great location for weddings, birthday parties, and holiday parties. The museum offers guests the opportunity to see their cars up close. In addition, the museum offers guided tours on the weekends and rides in their cars on Sundays, weather permitting. For more information about the ADM, visit: www.theADM.org, Twitter @TheADMorg, and Facebook at /TheADMorg. Come take a ride you’ll never forget.
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The 65th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

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The big show goes big, and is a wrap for another year

As I played with the calendar functions on my phone, then ran the sums, it struck me as amazing that this was my 34th Monterey car Week, and the little service lapel pin they presented me at the judge’s meeting marked my 20th year as a judge, this time around as a Chief Classic Judge overseeing three classes of post WWII sports and racing cars.
Pebble Beach from the inside is, and isn’t  just what you may think. IMHO, it is the best and most significant field of 200 great classic cars of all stripe to be found at any time on any single day in the world. It is not, or at least, is no longer, a beauty contest purely for trailer queens. In fact, entrants are encouraged and rewarded for participation in the 80 mile Tour d’Elegance which takes place the Thursday prior to the Concours Sunday. Our chief judge clearly underscores that we judge cars, not owners, and that over-restoration isn’t rewarded or encouraged. Evidence of use, enjoyment, and maintenance are appreciated. And the old rumor about getting points knocked off for blades of grass stuck in tire treads is simply not true. Our team of over 100 judges is a knowledgeable, international group of collectors, transportation designers, restorers, racers, authors, historians and otherwise in the know types that really know their stuff and work hard to judge fairly and evenhandedly to drive only to the best and proper results. Which happens far more often than not. The show also now wholeheartedly embraces preservation and survivor/unrestored class machines with their stories, and often hard earned patina intact.
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Pebble bristled with many anniversary recognitions and special categories this year, including special roster of du Pont automobiles, those fashioned by Touring of Milan, Pope automobiles and the many great highpoints from the history of Lincoln and Continental.

The famous, Barris built Hirohata Mercury custom takes a well earned first in class.

The famous, Barris built Hirohata Mercury custom takes a well earned first in class.

One particularly popular special class this year was comprised of Mercury customs – lead sleds of the 1950s custom style by gents like the Barris Brothers, Dean Jeffries, and other name brand custom builders of the period. Pebble goes all out for Ferraris about every ten years, and 2015 was one of them. Great road and racing Ferraris from every era dazzled the field with spectacular coachwork and singing V-12 engines. Few thought they would ever see Mustangs on the vaunted greens of Pebble Beach, but this year a category of early and prototype Shelby GT350s put eight of Carroll’s great Mustang “sport cars” on the turf. Sir Jackie Stewart strolled the field and held court and the rapt attention of the many showgoers appreciative of the three time F1 champion’s viewpoint and impressive career. Sir Stirling Moss, who has long served as an Honorary Judge, also strolled, chatted, and perused the field.

The final four nominees for Best of show, including the winning black Isotta in the middle.  Talk about a fearsome foursome...

The final four nominees for Best of show, including the winning black Isotta in the middle. Talk about a fearsome foursome…

After all the results had been tabbed, four final nominees gathered at the foot of Pebble’s famous presentation ramp; three pre-WWII “heavy classics” and an oddly wonderful looking Abarth sports coupe. When the herald trumpets blared and the confetti and fireworks were launched, an absolutely commanding and uber elegant 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F Ramseier and Sie Warblaufen Cabriolet took home the heavy crystal as 2016’s Best of show winner. The triple black and heavily chromed stunner is the pride and joy of the Jim Patterson Collection, coming to Pebble Beach from Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Some consider this rare and perfectly proportioned droptop to be among Pebble’s Best ever overall winners.

Concours chairman Sandra Button carefully sets one of the trophies on the Patterson's stunning Best of Show Winning Isotta.  She's the boss, she can touch...

Concours chairman Sandra Button carefully sets one of the trophies on the Patterson’s stunning Best of Show Winning Isotta. She’s the boss, she can touch…

Special classes and commemorations for 2016 are pending and will be announced soon. And hopefully I’ll be back to judge for my lucky 21st time.

Lyon Air Museum extends fabulous Duesenberg exhibit

If there's a better crib than this for a world class toybox full of cars and planes, I've never seen it.

If there’s a better crib than this for a world class toybox full of cars and planes, I’ve never seen it.

Extended again...giving you a few more weeks yet to see these fabulous cars among the planes, bikes, and other historic stuff.  Don't miss it.

Extended again…giving you a few more weeks yet to see these fabulous cars among the planes, bikes, and other historic stuff. Don’t miss it.

 

If you’ve never been to the Lion Air Museum in Santa Ana, California (abutting John Wayne Orange County Airport) you simply must put it on your Bucket and To Do Lists. It’s an otherworldly collection of WWII era aircraft, cars, motorcycles, and memorabilia assembled by Major General William Lyon (Retired). After a distinguished military career General Lyon, primarily as an aviator, General Lyon made his fortune in real estate development and home building. Along with that came a formidable, world-class level vintage aircraft collection, and currently 80-85 classic cars, plus some motorcycles.  The 92 year old Lyon particularly loves Duesenbergs, and owns many of them. General Lyon is generous in sharing his cars, often entering them in shows, and often displaying selected aspects of his collection at his air museum.

This 92 year old Great American Hero is handsome, sharp, smart, well spoken and  in great health.  He stands here with his ex Steve McQueen 1941 Harley-Davidson sidecar cycle.

This 92 year-old Great American Hero is handsome, sharp, smart, well spoken and in great health. He stands here with his ex Steve McQueen 1941 Harley-Davidson sidecar cycle.

The museum is in a fabulous hanger style building backing right up to the airport runways. The building was either a large commercial hanger or might have been an airplane dealer property. No matter, its large, immaculate, glassy, and well lighted. And it holds several planes, some of them quite large (like a pair of DC-3s, one military spec, and the other a civi craft). His recent display of ten of his Duesenbergs was so popular that its been extended beyond its planned August 1 closing to September 7. So you still have time to visit; the admission fee is modest, and even if you aren’t big on vintage aircraft, you’ll be impressed.

The photos really tell the story, so I’ll stop blathering and get on with some pix.  The museum and contact information is just below.

9300 Ike Jones Road
Santa Ana, CA 92707

www.lyonairmuseum.com

 

This is your first view when you step from the lobby into the hanger.  The very definition of breathtaking.

This is your first view when you step from the lobby into the hanger. The very definition of breathtaking.

Duesies and DC-3s.  Wow.

Duesies and DC-3s. Wow.

Very few coachbuilders exceeded the great work done by Pasadena, California's Murphy Coachworks; gotta love this supercharged SJ "disappearing top" model, AKA a convertible.

Very few coachbuilders exceeded the great work done by Pasadena, California’s Murphy Coachworks; gotta love this supercharged SJ “disappearing top” model, AKA a convertible.

Flamboyant is the only word to describe this torpedo bodied roadster, elegant in orange and black.  Check out the double overhead cam, 4-valves per cylinder straight-8 engine too.  Speed with style...

Flamboyant is the only word to describe this torpedo bodied roadster, elegant in orange and black. Check out the double overhead cam, 4-valves per cylinder straight-8 engine too. Speed with style…

Talk about a room with a view.  I could happily live here.

Talk about a room with a view. I could happily live here.

This dual rear axle 1939 Mercedes staff car was fully armored with bulletproof glass, unfortunately protecting the Nastiest Nazi and groups of his Third Reich henchmen.

This dual rear axle 1939 Mercedes staff car was fully armored with bulletproof glass, unfortunately protecting the Nastiest Nazi and groups of his Third Reich henchmen.

These charming 40s era Detroit Industrial Vehicles Company (DIVCO) trucks were used by our local Helms Bakery and often also as milkman delivery vehicles.  Cute always works.

These charming 40s era Detroit Industrial Vehicles Company (DIVCO) trucks were used by our local Helms Bakery and often also as milkman delivery vehicles. Cute always works.

This British 600cc P & M Panther is another ex-McQueen piece.  The yacht style sidecar was bult by the Old Essex Boat Company also in the UK.

This British 600cc P & M Panther is another ex-McQueen piece. The yacht style sidecar was built by the Old Essex Boat Company also in the UK.

One last look back just to finish taking away any breath you might have had left.

One last look back just to finish taking away any breath you might have had left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A few entries back, I previewed Auctions America’s upcoming California classic car, motorcycle, and automobila sale, moving to a new location from Burbank to Santa Monica, focussing on less cars and higher quality more engaging offerings than its larger past sales. So here’s AA’s results release and some great photos by Kirk Gerbracht.

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CULVER CITY, California (July 21, 2015) – Auctions America wrapped its third annual California sale on the weekend (July 17 – 18) with more than $15.4 million* in total sales. The multi-day auction, held for the first time at Santa Monica’s historic Barker Hangar, lifted the gavel on approximately 300 collector vehicles and select memorabilia, with numerous spirited bidding contests erupting over the course of the two days.

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Reflecting Auctions America’s international reach, bidders hailed from 11 countries around the world; significantly, 43 percent of bidders represented first-time clientele. The event also provided a fantastic illustration of Auctions America’s inventive presentation – playing upon the event’s airport hangar location, the sale delivered a new take on automotive auction staging, with vehicles driving onto the auction podium via the tail section of a C130.

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“We’re very pleased with results from our third annual California sale, which cements our reputation as the leading auction house serving the Southern California collector community,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, Auctions America’s West Coast Division. “Despite the rainy weather, we enjoyed strong attendance on Saturday, with some solid prices recorded across the board. Our new venue at the Barker Hangar proved particularly popular among attendees, and provided us with a great opportunity to showcase our team’s creativity. All in all, the event was a success on all fronts and created an excellent foundation for us to build on in the future.”

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Top sales honors were tied by two cars from very different eras: an exquisite 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, a model that represented the height of luxury and sporting elegance in period, and a 2004 Ferrari Enzo, one of the most exciting and iconic cars of the 21st century. Originally built as a 540K Cabriolet B before an expert rebody, the 540K glistened under the auction lights, drawing strong interest to garner a fantastic $1,870,000. The Enzo also drew significant attention from those in attendance, roaring onto the auction stage before also selling for final $1,870,000. Rounding out the sale’s top three and also achieving seven figures was the 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, the epitome of mid-sixties Italian supercar styling, which realized $1,622,500.

Additional notable sales included:

a beautifully restored 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet, for an above-estimate $407,000;

25th Anniversary Countach was the fastest and most developed of the breed, but safety bumper NEVER looked good on any Countach.

25th Anniversary Countach was the fastest and most developed of the breed, but safety bumper NEVER looked good on any Countach.

an iconic 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition, one of the most widely recognized supercars ever produced and showing just 6,500 miles, for $360,250;

Its all about the Bubblicious

Its all about the Bubblicious

and,the eye-catching 1955 Ford “Beatnik Bubbletop” Custom, the world’s largest bubbletop custom car, offered by eclectic collector and star of A&E’s “Storage Wars”, Barry Weiss, for $165,000.

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In addition, solid results were also recorded for a variety of Porsches included in the sale, illustrating a growing appetite in the marque. A freshly restored 1972 Porsche 911T Coupe, striking in Gemini Blue Metallic, commanded $140,250, while a 1996 Porsche 911 Twin Turbo, one of the most desired models of the Porsche series, garnered $165,000, and a 2007 Porsche GT3 RS, a true street legal racing machine, $192,500.

Auctions America California – Top Five Sales:

1. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roaster – $1,870,000

2. 2004 Ferrari Enzo – $1,870,000

3. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS – $1,622,500

4. 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet – $407,000

5. 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition – $360,250

More grist for the photomill, just below…

Vintage bikes really hot in the collector marketplace right now, I get it and I like it.  AA had several on offer.

Vintage bikes really hot in the collector marketplace right now, I get it and I like it. AA had several on offer.

Citroen SM looking particularly sinewy in black.

Citroen SM looking particularly sinewy in black.

Lotus and Eleonar -- sounds like the name of a new movie to replace Bonnie and Clyde, mayhaps?

Lotus and Eleonar — sounds like the name of a new movie to replace Bonnie and Clyde, mayhaps?

Ford GT demand and prices on fire, and deservedly so...perhaps a high watermark for the Ford Motor Company and Ford brand.

Ford GT demand and prices on fire, and deservedly so…perhaps a high watermark for the Ford Motor Company and Ford brand.

I love the early four-cylinder Healey 100s, IMHO prettier than all the later six cylinder cars, especially a rare Le Mans version like this one - yum.

I love the early four-cylinder Healey 100s, IMHO prettier than all the later six cylinder cars, (although I’d proudly own any of them) especially a rare Le Mans version like this one – yum.

300SL roadster now about as popular and costly as its Gullwing coupe sister, but again with deserve.  These cars are fabulous to look at and an elegant treat to drive.

300SL roadster now about as popular and costly as its Gullwing coupe sister, but again with deserve. These cars are fabulous to look at and an elegant treat to drive.

A Great American Hero is this 1941 Continental V-12 coupe.  A major statement about the senses of taste and style of the original Edsel Ford, Henry I's only son.

A Great American Hero is this 1941 Continental V-12 coupe. A major statement about the senses of taste and style of the original Edsel Ford, Henry I’s only son.

Great American Hero II, in this case of course a Continental Mark II, one of the cars I most desired at this sale.

Great American Hero II, in this case of course a Continental Mark II, one of the cars I most desired at this sale.

Big game early barnfind was this 1917 Peerless that of course needed everything redone but was remarkably complete and intact.

Big game early barnfind was this 1917 Peerless that of course needed everything redone but was remarkably complete and intact.

Truly something for everyone at this sale.

Truly something for everyone at this sale.

Talk about MAD MEN; if the late great TV show of the same name would have been cast in the 1950s, Don Draper would have been quite comfy with any of these big Yank Tanks, Buick, Caddy, or Conti.

Talk about MAD MEN; if the late great TV show of the same name would have been cast in the 1950s, Don Draper would have been quite comfy with any of these big Yank Tanks, Buick, Caddy, or Conti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Ford Shelby GT350 to be Auctioned to Benefit the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative

Cool Shelby news from my friends at Gooding & Company

Former president and first lady George and Laura look good in retirement, wonder if the pres can still drive a 6-speed?

Former president and first lady George and Laura look good in retirement, wonder if the pres can still drive a 6-speed?

Jay Leno to present the Ford Shelby GT350 as it crosses the block on Saturday, August 15

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (August 3, 2015) – Gooding & Company, the official auction house of The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, is thrilled to offer for sale a 2016 Ford Shelby GT350. The sale of this Shelby will benefit the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, a charity that honors the service and sacrifice of post-9/11 veterans and military families by bridging the civilian-military divide and fostering a successful transition and reintegration from military service to civilian life.

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush pictured with the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 (Estimate $75,000-$100,000).
Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photo by Brian Henniker.
The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 is the first vehicle to implement Ford’s new race-derived flat-plane crank 5.2-liter V-8, the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever to grace a Ford. With an 8,250 rpm redline, and 90% of its peak torque available from 3,450 rpm to 7,000 rpm, this GT350 will induce addictive spirited-driving, complemented by the rumble of Ford’s famous V8 exhaust note (Estimate: $75,000-$100,000).

“This is one of the most exotic engines ever produced by a major American manufacturer plus the fact that it’s going into the most American of cars,” said Jay Leno. “I am proud to help auction this car off where the proceeds will go to helping our veterans.”

We are honored to have world-renowned car collector and enthusiast, Jay Leno, once again present this future collectible during Saturday’s auction. Those who were fortunate enough to witness Mr. Leno’s command of the stage and passion for America’s troops with our previous charitable offerings will fondly recall bidders’ fervent support of the many servicemen and women who have bravely served our country.

“I thank the Sondland-Durant Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Gooding & Company, and Jay Leno for their generosity in supporting the Military Service Initiative at the Bush Center,” said President George W. Bush. “I also want to thank whoever buys this beautiful car for contributing to a worthy cause. You are helping ensure that our transitioning veterans and their families get the support they need and deserve, and I’m grateful.”

This intimate opportunity to support our veterans and their families is sure to be a resounding moment unlike any other during the Pebble Beach weekend, when the hammer drops on August 15 for this special Shelby.

Images for the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 can be found at the below link. Images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Brian Henniker.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5lr3x2267awq1is/AAAwjlzOMfw2Zq7VXKldQNJwa?dl=0

The Pebble Beach Auctions
Dates: Saturday, August 15 at 5:00pm and Sunday, August 16 at 6:00pm
Location: Equestrian Center, corner of Stevenson Drive and Portola Road, Pebble Beach, CA
Public preview: Wednesday, August 12 – Sunday, August 16
Auction catalogues: $100, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auctions
General admission: $40, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auctions
Live auction broadcast: www.goodingco.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GoodingCompany
Twitter: @GoodingCompany #GCoPB
RSS: www.goodingco.com/rss.xml

About George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative
The George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative honors the service and sacrifice of post-9/11 veterans and military families by improving their well-being and unleashing their potential. Through research, resources, programs and Presidential recognition – the unique ability of the former Commander in Chief to convene, spotlight, and inspire – the Military Service Initiative unites and empowers communities, non-profits (military service organizations), business, academia, philanthropy and individual citizens to effectively support post-9/11 service members, veterans and their families in the areas of jobs, wellness, family, education, housing, and women’s veteran issues.

About Gooding & Company
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Highway Earth Car Show 2015 — Such a smash, let’s do it again!

Among the show's most appealing aspects is that the park is made up of a series of turnouts or mini parking lots around the lake, so the visuals are much more interesting than just a massive field full of cars.  This was the Alfa club's show within a show area, and they brought their own field and did their own judging and awards.

Among the show’s most appealing aspects is that the park is made up of a series of turnouts or mini parking lots around the lake, so the visuals are much more interesting than just a massive field full of cars. This was the Alfa club’s show within a show area, and they brought their own field and did their own judging and awards.

My friends Evan and Tom put on one of the greatest, most fun, easy to access, lowest impact car shows you’ve never heard of. It appears well on its way to becoming an Annual Thing, taking place each summer at the Franklin Canyon Park in the Hollywood Hills. Its a run what ya brung show, meaning anything from ratrods to Citroens to Mercedes 300SL roadsters and Gullwings. This year the Alfa Romeo Owners club of Southern California put on its own concours, a show within a show boasting around 30 fine Alfas.

Cover of this year's special mag for the show.  Nice photos (as Evan is a professional photographer) and good reads too.

Cover of this year’s special mag for the show. Nice photos (as Evan is a professional photographer) and good reads too.

There’s no judging, no awards, and no admission fee. Everyone is welcome.

Great spot for a car show, or just a hike or a picnic.

Great spot for a car show, or just a hike or a picnic.

This park is a wonderful and historic old place, the site of much movie and TV filming. I’ve also done still photo shoots there for car magazines. Speaking of which, when you enter the show, you get your own free copy of the magazine the boys put out just for the show.

Kirk Gerbracht’s fine photos tell the rest of the story, so I’ll shut up now and let you enjoy the pix.

OK yes this is my own Benz, but shows you the perfect parking spot I had to watch the rest of the show cars arrive and park.  Most magical and shady too.

OK yes this is my own Benz, but shows you the perfect parking spot I had to watch the rest of the show cars arrive and park. Most magical and shady too.

The balance of "my" turnout was mostly German, with shooter Gerbracht's 996 Carrera on the right, and two other luverly Porsches in this frame.

The balance of “my” turnout was mostly German, with shooter Gerbracht’s 996 Carrera on the right, and two other luverly Porsches in this frame.

Two of the many interesting Alfalfa Spiders, the yellow one at left belonging to my friend Jeff and the silver on the right owned by event organizer Evan Klein.

Two of the many interesting Alfalfa Spiders, the yellow one at left belonging to my friend Jeff and the silver on the right owned by event organizer Evan Klein.

I certainly never tire of GTVs.

I certainly never tire of GTVs.

Or Giulias and Giuliettas...

Or Giulias and Giuliettas…

Lots of tasty British sports car stuff on hand too.

Lots of tasty British sports car stuff on hand too.

A long ago friend of mine had a GT6 just like this one.

A long ago friend of mine had a GT6 just like this one.

My own Sunbeam Tiger was British Racing Green, the "sort-of" Cobra I'd never have.  I kinda miss it now.

My own Sunbeam Tiger was British Racing Green, the “sort-of” Cobra I’d never have. I kinda miss it now.

This fabulously 50s 1958 Continental III convert was resplendent in ivory pink, and concours inside and out.

This fabulously 50s 1958 Continental III convert was resplendent in ivory pink, and concours inside and out.

I love Studes, especially the profile of this GranTuismo Hawk.

I love Studes, especially the profile of this GranTuismo Hawk.

Lots of hot rods, race cars, and muscle on hand.

Lots of hot rods, race cars, and muscle on hand.

Cover car from this year's magazine can be yours, by the day, from Beverly Hills Car Rental.

Cover car from this year’s magazine can be yours, by the day, from Beverly Hills Car Rental.

Strangely wonderful Kaiser Darrin

Strangely wonderful Kaiser Darrin

Particularly badass Shelby GT500, check out its particularly badass motor just below...

Particularly badass Shelby GT500, check out its particularly badass motor just below…

Yes, that's twin Paxton superchargers and dual carbs, so one carb and one blower for every four cylinders...

Yes, that’s twin Paxton superchargers and dual carbs, so one carb and one blower for every four cylinders…

My friend and all around fabulous car guy and enthusiast collector Bruce Meyer drive this mondo tasty 300SL; he's the guy in the monster cowdude hat.

My friend and all around fabulous car guy and enthusiast collector Bruce Meyer drive this mondo tasty 300SL; he’s the guy in the monster cowdude hat.

Among the stars of the show was the real George Barris, and his America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award winning XR6 hot rod from the early 1960s.

Among the stars of the show was the real George Barris, and his America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award winning XR6 hot rod from the early 1960s.

Yes, Franklin Lake Park really does have a lake.

Yes, Franklin Lake Park really does have a lake.

Bikes too!

Bikes too!

and lotsa Vettes.

and lotsa Vettes.

Some people get really serious about their presentation.  Did it impress the beautiful leggy woman on the right?  Hmmmm....not sure.

Some people get really serious about their presentation. Did it impress the beautiful leggy woman on the right? Hmmmm….not sure.

Among the many cool things Evan does for his show is a group shot of everyone who wishes to be in it.  Evan is down in front holding the sign, his father Phil is just to the left, and George Barris is in the pink shirt just behind Evan.  And the fabulously elegant woman in all white is Ev's fiance Sima.  Lucky guy he is.

Among the many cool things Evan does for his show is a group shot of everyone who wishes to be in it. Evan is down in front holding the sign, his father Phil is just to the left, and George Barris is in the pink shirt just behind Evan. And the fabulously elegant woman in all white is Ev’s fiance Sima. Lucky guy he is.

Ferrari Club of America concours, Old Town Pasadena, 2015

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As you know, it isn’t my usual policy to post or rprint press releases (unless its something very newsy)  in this space. However, for the news on this fabulous Ferrari show, it’s my guess that what you really want are the results and a bunch of great photos of the cars. So here ya go.

Photography by Kirk Gerbracht

 

 

 

 

Nearly every Ferrari favorite was there, old and new

Nearly every Ferrari favorite was there, old and new

 

Best of show by Vignale, and deservedly so...

Best of show by Vignale, and deservedly so…

 

Yeowwwch!

Yeowwwch!

 

"Bartender, I'd like a 25/GTB neat with a Lusso back"

“Bartender, I’d like a 25/GTB neat with a Lusso back”

Two of Ferrari's very most hyper exotics, F50 and Enzo

Two of Ferrari’s very most hyper exotics, F50 and Enzo

Super elegant 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet - yum

Super elegant 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet – yum

Old School Formula racer with front engined, Dino V-6 power

Old School Formula racer with front engined, Dino V-6 power

Giallo Fly Dino never looks wrong

Giallo Fly Dino never looks wrong

 

Twelve, count 'em...12

Twelve, count ‘em…12

 

 

This lovely GTS was one of my favorite cars at this show...hardly perfect, but absolutely original paint, chrome and interior, enjoying proper use, love, care and enjoyment, as they should

This lovely GTS was one of my favorite cars at this show…hardly perfect, but absolutely original paint, chrome and interior, enjoying proper use, love, care and enjoyment, as they should

 

The Ferrari model that drives me the most bonkers, the 365/GTB4 Daytona, and this was a damn nice one.  I counted three on the street that day

The Ferrari model that drives me the most bonkers, the 365/GTB4 Daytona, and this was a damn nice one. I counted three on the street that day

 

Talk about nice junk in the trunk

Talk about nice junk in the trunk

 

Nice crowd all day, but never overcrowded...and no admission fee

Nice crowd all day, but never overcrowded…and no admission fee

 

OK, last Daytona, I promise...

OK, last Daytona, I promise…

Basta...Finito!

Basta…Finito!

 

 

Driven: 2015 Chevrolet Impala 2LT Sedan

IMAG0235
I grew up during the heyday of what I’ll call the Great American Sedan; big comfy conventional four-door cars with lots of room inside, rear wheel drive, and a big trunk out back. Large displacement, lazy overhead valve V-8s up front that would run forever, and never complain or make a sound doing it. Cars that could handle the daily commute or the family vacation drive across America. For a while it seemed as if these cars had all but dried up on the American landscape. In some cases for good reason and some that left a sense of loss. Impalas and Caprices. Bonnevilles and LaSabres. LTDs and Marquis. Monacos and Furys. And such.

IMAG0233
It’s been decades since I’ve been impressed by any Chevy Impala. The last generation barely deserved the name as far as I’m concerned; it was perfect for fleet sales and rental car lots. The first series of previous gen Impala was a dorky looking front drive sedan based on an aged and widely used GM “Corporate” chassis architecture. There was a tepid SS version with dual exhausts, bigger wheels, and an old tech V-6 with 200 “screaming” horses. It was updated mid life, and got only a little better looking. The SS version got a real V-8 engine, about its only meaningful calling card.

IMAG0228
No matter, for 2014 Chevy threw the whole thing in the bin, and started over with a really handsome new design with nice proportions and some flare. It’s still a front drive, V-6 based platform, but with altogether different and more appropriate bits, style, and specs. You can decide for yourself based on the photos, but this car now looks terrific. The windowlines are airy and make for a large interior with good headroom, the face is appropriately current Chevy, and the rear fenders have a lovely haunchline pressed into them which gives the car “shoulders” and a muscular look. My tester was painted an elegant “Ashen Gray Metallic” over a Jet Black and Dark Titanium leather interior, and looked muscular and premium all at the same time.

IMAG0229

Lots to like inside too, with generally high quality materials, and every infotainment goodie known to man with a big bright nav screen that’s easy to use and works well. Not to mention a fully integrated WiFi hotspot that allows impressive connectivity to your devices. Lots of legroom, solid yet comfy seats, and great visibility plus a large trunk aft.

IMAG0230

Up front is GM’s 3.6-liter SIDI V-6 punching out a solid 305 horsepower. It’s backed by a 6-speed automatic transaxle (remember the old Impalas were running yestertech 4-speed automatics until just a few years ago). It all exhales through a stainless steel dual exhaust system that sounds great. Not musclecar loud, but with a throaty rumble that speaks with some enthusiasm and authority. GM’s 3600 V-6 is becoming the New Age Small-block Chevy V-8; this high tech double overhead cam, four valves per cylinder V-6 can be found in everything from trucks to Cadillacs, and powers them all handily. Its smooth and revs relatively easily, with good low end torque for solid off the line punch. I didn’t do any timed acceleration runs with it, but this car felt particularly punchy, and stronger than 305 horses to me. One online source said it runs 0-60 in six seconds flat, which I believe.

IMAG0227

And it also handles well for a large heavy car. Some of that credit goes to a more well developed chassis, plus good springs and shocks, some more credit to the massive 19” wheels and tires which are responsive to your steering wheel commands and offer relatively high grip. And all said and done I feel that this car offers good value; this 2LT model comes standard with the larger of two offered V-6s, and a fair amount of equipment within its base price of $30,135, and packed fully loaded with every imaginable option my tester bottomlined at $35,725; you’d pay that much for any other similarly sized and equipped sedan. And more for some.

You can peruse the window sticker to see every last little bell and whistle on this car, but overall I liked it a bunch. Handsome, safe, nicely built and finished, a superb driver with a measure of enthusiasm and performance. Said and done I’d say it’s a modern day, worthy replacement for all of the Great American sedans I mentioned a few paragraphs up. It this is the type of car you want and need, I encourage you to check one out.

Impala sticker 1

 

Impala sticker 2

The Wizards of AUS

Courtesy of the good folks at GM AUS, I borrowed this Holden SSV; think of it as a reasonably priced BMW M5: mid sized rear drive platform, big V-8, 6-speed manual trans, high speed rolling stock.  We now get this car as the Chevrolet Super Sport

Courtesy of the good folks at GM AUS, I borrowed this Holden SSV; think of it as a reasonably priced BMW M5: mid sized rear drive platform, big V-8, 6-speed manual trans, high speed rolling stock. We now get this car as the Chevrolet Super Sport

A few vacations back, I spent two weeks in Australia. Mostly in Sydney, but also in the Hunter Valley wine country and the Blue Mountains. Wonderful country, nice people, and the most amazing harbor you’ll ever see.

"My" SSV, on the right, parked next to a local out on the street, at left.  The other car was one generation older than mine, but still made of much the same stuff.  Remember that this car was the Pontiac G8 for a while.

“My” SSV, on the right, parked next to a local out on the street, at left. The other car was one generation older than mine, but still made of much the same stuff. Remember that this car was the Pontiac G8 for a while.

 

Here's what made my 6-speed manual SSV tick, a proper LS2 or 3 6.0-liter Small Block.  This car was a blast to drive, but I never got totally comfy driving fast on the "wrong" side of the road from the opposite side of the car.

Here’s what made my 6-speed manual SSV tick, a proper LS2 or 3 6.0-liter Small Block. This car was a blast to drive, but I never got totally comfy driving fast on the “wrong” side of the road from the opposite side of the car.

 

And a bitchin car scene. As you know, when I travel I photograph all the cool and wonderful cars I see, so many thing we don’t get here. Very vibrant automotive enthusiasm down under. Lots of great stuft on the streets plus tons of racing. V8 Supercup, big game events like the Bathurst 1000 and Targa Tazmania and plenty of drag racing, plus an annual F1 event, and used to be IndyCar racing at Surfers paradise. Here’s a few of my happy snaps, hope you enjoy the automotive wonders down unders.

I love Land Rover Defenders in most any configuration, but find this four door pickup body particularly cool.  Turbodiesel power, 5-speed stick, 4-wheel drive, aluminum bodywork...and plenty of room for this in my driveway.  Wish we got these here.

I love Land Rover Defenders in most any configuration, but find this four door pickup body particularly cool. Turbodiesel power, 5-speed stick, 4-wheel drive, aluminum bodywork…and plenty of room for this in my driveway. Wish we got these here.

 

During my two weeks in AUS, I spotted nearlly every generation of Nissan Skyline you can imageine.  Rare birds, fast, and very cool stuff.

During my two weeks in AUS, I spotted nearlly every generation of Nissan Skyline you can imageine. Rare birds, fast, and very cool stuff.

 

In case you wonder where the El Camino and Ranchero went, its simple, they went down under.  Ford still makes a Ranchero style car called a Falcon Ute, and GM's Holden still makes an El Camino, also called a Ute.  Most offer muscle car versions  just like our good old days; this Ford is called a Boss 260.  And its for sure Boss.

In case you wonder where the El Camino and Ranchero went, its simple, they went down under. Ford still makes a Ranchero style car called a Falcon Ute, and GM’s Holden still makes an El Camino, also called a Ute. Most offer muscle car versions just like our good old days; this Ford is called a Boss 260. And its for sure Boss.

 

Ford's sporty mid-sizer is called Falcon, this one about the size of the previous generation Fusion.  Note sporty foglights, air damn, rocker panels and aggressive rolling stock.  I'd proudly drive this.  This car's owner saw me making photos of his car, and came out and said "hey matee" and we hung out and talked cars for a while.  Nice!

Ford’s sporty mid-sizer is called Falcon, this one about the size of the previous generation Fusion. Note sporty foglights, air damn, rocker panels and aggressive rolling stock. I’d proudly drive this. This car’s owner saw me making photos of his car, and came out and said “hey matee” and we hung out and talked cars for a while. Nice!

 

My new mate's Falcon was indeed something fast and special.

My new mate’s Falcon was indeed something fast and special.

 

And now for something different; a Daihatsu Copen micro sports car.  Yes in AUS, no in US.

And now for something different; a Daihatsu Copen micro sports car. Yes in AUS, no in US.

 

I also visited several new and used car dealerships, this one claiming to stock "Sydney's Best 'Utes" and I'd believe it.  Cool stuff.

I also visited several new and used car dealerships, this one claiming to stock “Sydney’s Best ‘Utes” and I’d believe it. Cool stuff.

 

 

Ranchero and El Camino Live!

Ranchero and El Camino Live!

 

Didn't expect to see this Manx style dune buggy down there; notice that its a right hooker, so must have been built out of a local VW.

Didn’t expect to see this Manx style dune buggy down there; notice that its a right hooker, so must have been built out of a local VW.

 

American cars and car culture very popular in AUS.  This Vette looked great on Sydney's cruise night.

American cars and car culture very popular in AUS. This Vette looked great on Sydney’s cruise night.

 

Didn't see a lot of what most would call "exotics" in Sydney, this slick Aston Martin being one exception.

Didn’t see a lot of what most would call “exotics” in Sydney, this slick Aston Martin being one exception.

 

This Holden GTS was one step wickeder than my SSV, with badder body armour, more aggressive rolling stock, four pipe exhaust and wings and things.  Tasty rad ride was this, brand new on the dealer lot.  Nice.

This Holden GTS was one step wickeder than my SSV, with badder body armour, more aggressive rolling stock, four pipe exhaust and wings and things. Tasty rad ride was this, brand new on the dealer lot. Nice.

 

 

One last look at the above noted GTS Holden.  Hope you enjoyed this quick car trip to AUS.

One last look at the above noted GTS Holden. Hope you enjoyed this quick car trip to AUS.