Got Junk in your Trunk? Just call Ellen!

Proving yet again that good things come in small packages, my friend Ellen is a classic subcompact, something just over five feet tall, but packs big energy and personality into an efficiently sized package.  Here she proudly dislays some schwagly goodies she picked up to go with her new 997.

Proving yet again that good things come in small packages, my friend Ellen is a classic subcompact, something just over five feet tall, but packs big energy and personality into an efficiently sized package. Here she proudly dislays some schwagly goodies she picked up to go with her new 997.

The pert, charming redhead in the photo above is my friend Ellen, and yes boys, the gray 911 she’s standing with is hers. Not a boyfriend’s, brother’s or husband’s, but 100% all hers. She’s a serious gearhead girl, a Bondurant trained pilota, and just terribly neat and organized, as is her office, her home, her car, and herself. Neat clean and put together…all of the above.

We’ve all seen cars that appear as if someone is living in them. Now I don’t mean to belittle homeless folks who actually do have to live in their cars. I mean the hapless, messy, disorganized slobs who treat their cars as an extra junk drawer. Ellen recently recounted to me the story of one such co-worker of hers, a young woman whose normally four seater Mazda3 was so filled with crap that it became a one-seater, with barely enough room in that one seat for the driver. I don’t know this woman’s name but she and Ellen recently decided to clean this pile up and get her organized.  It only makes sense that this woman asked Ellen for help, as Ellen’s cars are always detailed to show quality and neat as a pin.

Ellen told me the story, thusley, and I’m still chuckling over it….

“Two garbage bags were filled with none other than…garbage. Another garbage bag was filled with shoes, another full of clothes. She found an envelope with $750 in cold hard cash. The trunk was also stuffed and emptied out. Took a while to get it all vacuumed. While I washed the car, she continued to go through stuff that came out of the car. Makeup, jewelry, sports equipment. Exhausting.

Then after a good wash, dry, and clay barred a little. Then she joined to wash the wheels. I cleaned the inside and all windows. I waxed and she took it off.

Amazing how good it ended up looking. She was on her cell at one point and heard her say ‘I can pick up uncle from the airport, I have room now!’.  Yep, it was so bad she could not carry a single passenger.

I think that it got so out of control she didn’t know where to start.”

They vacuumed, they polished, they cleaned, waxed, buffed and treated and now the car has room for four plus luggage.  Imagine losing, or finding, an envelope with $750 cash in it.  I’m happy when I find seventy five cents worth of quarters in my seat cushions, I’d pass out for an extra $750 I didn’t know, or didn’t remember, I had.

Let’s see if this girl can keep up her car’s new image.

Remembering Pontiac

Some news I thought you might enjoy from my friends at the Automobile Driving Museum…

Remembering the Pontiac

Remembering the Pontiac
(El Segundo, CA) The Automobile Driving Museum (ADM), a non-profit automotive museum that preserves and educates of historic automobiles will be hosting a “Remembering the Pontiac” event on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jim Wangers “The Godfather of the GTO” will be the special guest speaker delivering his “Royal Pontiac” presentation.

Jim Wangers, autobiographer of Glory Days and the marketing genius that worked for the division’s contract advertising agency, McManus, John and Adams. The legendary “ad man” for Pontiac and the marketer behind the Pontiac GTO and several other Pontiac specialty cars, Wangers helped establish the “muscle car” of the Sixties to its rightful niche in the history of American car marketing.

Royal Pontiac became the “unofficial” testing garage for Pontiac’s high performance cars and equipment. Wangers organized the entire Royal Pontiac program, which remains to this day one of the most respected and important landmark mail-order performance automotive sources ever established. A Royal “Bobcat” is today one of the hobby’s most collectible muscle cars.

The Remembering the Pontiac event will be open to all pre-70’s Pontiac cars. The Automobile Driving Museum is located at 610 Lairport Street, El Segundo, CA 90245. Requested donations of $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children (11-17) and 10 and under are free. For more information about the ADM, visit: www.theADM.org, Twitter @TheADMorg, and Facebook at /TheADMorg.

About the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM):
Stanley Zimmerman and Earl Rubenstein, long time car collectors and friends, founded the ADM in 2001. The museum was started as a place where car enthusiast could experience riding in a piece of automotive history. Known as the only museum in the country that takes their guests for a ride in their historic cars. Now, a destination for many tourists and an attraction for auto enthusiasts all over the world, the ADM has a collection of over 130 automobiles that will take you back through automotive history.

Coming Soon — My New Book: Exotic Barnfinds

 

Barn book cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most of us hopeless carfools, I love great barnfind cars and stories. So I decided it was time to publish my own compendium of them. My friend Tom Cotter really identified the genre with his successful “…in the Barn” series of books, and publishing vets Jerry Heasley and Wally Wyss have also done very well with them.

In order to set my book apart from the others, I decided to focus on the fast and sexy stuff: Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, and such, plus a few great Shelbys.  In other words, no ’46 Plymouths in here.  Not that I have anything against ’46 Plymouths, but exotic they are not.  Another goal here is to share fresh stories that hopefully you’ve not read a dozen other places.  And these cars, stories, and photos come from all over the world.

The large format, softbound, all color Exotic Barnfinds will be published by CarTech Books, at a bargain retail price of $24.95, and you can buy it publisher direct from them, as larger bookstores like Barnes and Noble, or on Amazon.  It’ll be available this October, and here’s the rest of the scoop:

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: CarTech (October 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613252021
ISBN-13: 978-1613252024
Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches

Driven: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon Pickups

colorado-canyonlead

The “compact truck” segment, as we knew it, is largely dead. It was the segment launched in the late 60s and particularly early 70s with those charming, cheap to buy and easy to live with little trucks like the Ford Courier, Datsun 2000 pickup, Toyota HiLux and who could forget, the Chevy Luv. I liked these trucks, they made sense at the time; smaller engines to cope with high for the time fuel prices, reasonable payloads for their size, low price of entry, easy to drive. They were great, and millions were sold. Then they began to grow; there were extended cabs, then V-6 engines began to creep onto the options list. They got larger, heavier, and more expensive. And now those that are left in the segment are “mid-sized” pickups, offering the styling and most of the power and options of what we used to call “half-ton” pickups. Or now, more correctly full sized trucks. Because above them, now are heavy-duty and Super-Duty pickups.

What used to be small, medium, and large in the truck market is now "medium, full and Heavy-Duty"

What used to be small, medium, and large in the truck market is now “medium, full and Heavy-Duty”

So what of the compact to medium sized truck segment? The previous best selling Ranger has gone bubye, as has the Dakota and its Mitsubishi versions. The Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma have gotten larger and are both being prepped for a long overdue remodel. And Chevy and GMC limped along for years with the previous generation Canyon and Colorado; slightly warmed over versions of South American model pickups that never quite found happiness here.They looked a little dorky, powered by a pair of not quite right powertrains; an anemic inline four and a harsh-sounding not-powerful-enough inline-five that nobody really liked.

But that’s all over, as GM has thrown them out with the bathwater, brewing up a pair of absolutely new, now mid-sized pickups that borrow a lot from their full sized siblings, the well done and super popular Silverado and Sierra. The frames cop a lot of their design and technology from those of the big boys, and they are available in a wide variety of cab and bed configurations. There are again two engine choices, but good ones this time. The base economy minded motor is a 2.5-liter Ecotec four good for 200 horsepower and 191 pounds-feet of torque. Not big numbers but enough to move the trucks smartly about town when empty or lightly loaded. The up option engine is GM’s now ubiquitous 3.6-liter VVT direct injection V-6, spooling out 305 horse and 269 pounds feet of twisty goodness. Standard with the I-4 in certain models is a 6-speed manual transmission, with most other versions running a 6-speed automatic. GM has already announced that four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine option is on the way in a year or two, and I can’t wait to sample that.

All new chassis and body structure designs are super strong, light for their strength, and offer high levels of standard features

All new chassis and body structure designs are super strong, light for their strength, and offer high levels of standard features

GM has packed so much technology into these trucks. And base equipment levels are high; in other words, no more drum brake models. Even the base-ist, strippedest four-cylinder “work truck” model has finely tuned aerodynamics, standard back up cameras, and four-wheel disc brakes. Plus too much other stuff to mention. And loads of sound deadening materials to keep the quiet; no more drumming, rattling metal pickups.
Power rack and pinion steering is also standard, as is StabiliTrak electronic stability control. and lots of other stuff.

Canyon shows off its GMC Professional Grade design language to good effect

Canyon shows off its GMC Professional Grade design language to good effect

Colorado packs lots of Silverado into its styling, and GM did up this handsome piece as a fun example of the personalization options available to buyers of these rigs

Colorado packs lots of Silverado into its styling, and GM did up this handsome piece as a fun example of the personalization options available to buyers of these rigs

 

Other than styling and design, very little differentiates between the Chevy and the GMC version. All of the aluminum looking trim in the cabin of the GMC is real aluminum; its nice to touch and feel it be a little cold, like real metal, tap it with your finger and you can tell its metal not plastic — nice. Plus GMC offers one additional four wheel drive system not found on the Chevy, other than that, they are virtually the same, pick the one you like and you’ll be happy knowing you didn’t leave anything on the tale by not selecting the other.

The new cabins are comfy, well appointed, handsome, and made of high quality materials, something you wouldn't say about the old Canyon and Colorado interiors

The new cabins are comfy, well appointed, handsome, and made of high quality materials, something you wouldn’t say about the old Canyon and Colorado interiors

 

Active shutters behind the grille open and close to optimize between aerodynamic efficiency and cooling air needs -- smart stuff

Active shutters behind the grille open and close to optimize between aerodynamic efficiency and cooling air needs — smart stuff

I drove every engine and body configuration with the exception of the “base” four cylinder, manual transmission, rubber floormatted work truck version. And these trucks are terrific to drive. The size is really smart, not to big and not too small, especially if you don’t have huge payload needs, and drive this as your every day ride. Speaking of ride, its smooth over any surface. Particular attention was paid to tuning the body and chassis twisting frequencies, and to body mountings. Some trucks, when they run over bumpy terrain at any kind of speed, tend to get their chassis wiggling, then the body wiggles on top of it; think of a large bowl of Jello that just won’t stop. Not so these new GMs, all of that tendency has been engineered out. Seating is super comfy, and visibility is excellent.

Great engines too. The four isn’t overly punchy, but its enough especially if a lower purchase price and max fuel economy is paramount. Most buyers will get the V-6; this engine has really become the new “small-block Chevy” in that it does everything well and is used across the GM lineup; from Cadillacs to trucks to vans to Camaros, and in these new mid size trucks. Its punchy, smooth, and relatively economical. The six speed autobox is a perfect dance partner, always in the right gear at the right time.

Downsides? Not many, these trucks are superbly engineered, well finished, beautifully built, handsome, strong, and fine to drive.  And very smartly sized; they’re easy to park, have bigger carrying capacity than the old compacts, yet still fit in most two car garages. If I had a wish it would be that the GMC wouild be more differentiated from the Chevy in ways that really matter, beyond the brand specific styling. We had a GMC pickup when I was a kid, and it looked different, plus it had a big thumping GMC only V-6 engine that you couldn’t get in a Chevy. Maybe the Canyon ought to get a V-8 performance option; imagine a GMC Caynton sport truck with a 6.2-liter V-8, sport suspension and some serious rubber. Or an ultra work or off-road version with the V-8.  Or maybe a highly focused, diesel powered off-road model.  I dunno, something more here please.

How good are GM’s new mid-sizers; good and great enough to win Motor Trend’s 2015 Truck of the Year award, no small feat I assure you.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Get all the details, techs, specs, and ordering info at Chevrolet.com or GMC.com.

Job well done, GM.

Number Crunching the Arizona Collector Car Auction Week

P1160522

These results are tabulated by the good folks at Hagerty Collector Car Insurance, and while you may really enjoy people paying tons and tons of money for collector cars, or alternately, you may hate it, the information is always interesting to say the least.  So here’s the numbers according to www.hagerty.com

I didn’t make it to every sale, but most of them, so a few photos here by Kirk Gerbracht and yours true.  If you’ve never done auction week in Arizona, I’d suggest it for your bucket List.

Thanks…MS

 

Scottsdale Auction Week
January 18, 2015 (Results through January 17, 2015)

Listed below are the raw results witnessed by Hagerty during the live auctions and may not factor in any post-sale deals that have occurred.  These numbers include the appropriate buyer’s premiums.

Overall through Saturday from all auction companies
Cumulative Total: $276.4M
2,304/2,687 lots sold: 86% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $119,946

Overall Top 10 Sales from all auctions through Saturday:
1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe Sold For $9,625,000 (RM)
2. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Coupe Sold For $9,405,000 (Bonhams)
3. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Sold For $7,700,000 (Gooding & Company)
4. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Sold For $4,070,000 (Gooding)
5. 1950 General Motors Futurliner Bus Sold For $4,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson)*
6. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe Sold For $3,657,500 (RM)
7. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Spyder Sold For $3,300,000
7. 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car Sold For $3,300,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
9. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Coupe Sold For $2,750,000 (RM)
9. 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe Sold For $2,750,000 (RM)
*Car sold for charity

2014 Cumulative Results through Saturday
Cumulative Total: $239.3M
2,076/2,510 lots sold: 83% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $115,248

Results broken down by Auction Company

 

P1160615
BARRETT-JACKSON
Cumulative Total through Saturday: $120.7M
1,458/1,480 lots sold: 99% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $82,749

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade Of Progress Tour Bus Sold For $4,000,000*
2. 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car Sold For $3,300,000
3. 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Coupe Sold For $1,650,000
4. 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster Sold For $1,595,000
5. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe Sold For $1,100,000
6. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet Sold For $1,045,000
7. 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350 Coupe Sold For $1,000,000*
8. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible Sold For $800,000
9. 2015 BMW M5 Sedan Sold For $700,000
10. 1936 Delahaye “Whatthehaye” Street-Rod Sold For $671,000
*Car sold for charity

Saturday total: $51.6M
258/280 lots sold: 92% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $200,164

Top 10 Saturday Sales:
1. 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade Of Progress Tour Bus Sold For $4,000,000*
2. 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car Sold For $3,300,000
3. 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Coupe Sold For $1,650,000
4. 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster Sold For $1,595,000
5. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe Sold For $1,100,000
6. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet Sold For $1,045,000
7. 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350 Coupe Sold For $1,000,000*
8. 1936 Delahaye “Whatthehaye” Street-Rod Sold For $671,000
9. 1991 Ferrari F40 Coupe Sold For $638,000
10. 2005 Ford GT Coupe Sold For $605,000
*Car sold for charity

2014 Results through Saturday
Cumulative Total: $100.9M
1,246/1,255 lots sold: 99% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $80,942

BONHAMS
Overall total: $24.8M
73/84 lots sold: 87%
Average Sale Price: $340,058

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Coupe Sold For $9,405,000
2. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe Sold For $1,375,000
3. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Sold For $1,237,500
4. 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster Sold For $1,017,500
5. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Sold For $902,000
6. 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Coupe Sold For $748,000
7. 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Sold For $671,000
8. 1914 American Underslung 646 5-Passenger Touring Sold For $528,000
9. 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Coupe Sold For $511,500
10. 1948 Automobile Shippers Special Indy Roadster Sold For $473,000

Overall 2014 Results for comparrison
Total: $23.5M
86/101 lots sold: 85% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $272,890

P1160229
GOODING & CO
Overall Total: $51.5M
114/126 lots sold: 91% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $451,900

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Sold For $7,700,000
2. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet (closed headlight) Sold For $4,070,000
3. 1968 Ferrari 330 GTS Spyder Sold For $2,420,000
4. 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6 Coupe Sold For $1,980,000
5. 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Coupe Sold For $1,925,000
6. 1959 BMW 507 Roadster Sold For $1,815,000
7. 1988 Porsche 959 Sport Coupe Sold For $1,705,000
8. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS Spyder Sold For $1,595,000
9. 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Sold For $1,567,500
10. 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster Sold For $1,155,000
10. 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe Sold For $1,155,000

Saturday total: $26.2M
58/62 lots sold: 94% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $451,735

Top 10 Saturday Sales:
1. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet (closed headlight) Sold For $4,070,000
2. 1968 Ferrari 330 GTS Spyder Sold For $2,420,000
3. 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6 Coupe Sold For $1,980,000
4. 1988 Porsche 959 Sport Coupe Sold For $1,705,000
5. 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Sold For $1,567,500
6. 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe Sold For $1,155,000
7. 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster Sold For $979,000
8. 1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Boattail Speedster Sold For $770,000
9. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe Sold For $698,500
10. 1968 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 Coupe Sold For $682,000

Overall 2014 Results for comparison
Total: $48.9M
109/117 lots sold: 93% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $448,730

P1160566
RM Auctions
Overall Total: $59.8M
104/123 lots sold: 86% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $574,863

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe Sold For $9,625,000
2. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe Sold For $3,657,500
3. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder Sold For $3,300,000
4. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Longnose Coupe Sold For $2,750,000
4. 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe Sold For $2,750,000
6. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS Spyder Sold For $2,365,000
7. 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SVJ Coupe Sold For $1,897,500
8. 1962 Ferrari 250 SII Cabriolet Sold For $1,705,000
9. 1965 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupe Sold For $1,650,000
10. 2005 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione Coupe Sold For $1,622,500

2014 Results for comparison
Total: $45.6M
108/126 lots sold: 86% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $421,884

RUSSO AND STEELE
Cumulative Total through Saturday: $16.1M
337/550 lots sold: 61% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $47,728

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Sold For $1,430,000
2. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Sport Coupe Sold For $335,500
3. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Sportsroof Sold For $330,000
4. 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 Coupe Sold For $302,500
5. 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster Sold For $286,000
6. 1970 Plymouth Cuda Hemi Hardtop Coupe Sold For $247,500
7. 2001 Prevost XL Sold For $206,250
8. 1959 Echidna Chassis #2 Roadster Sold For $162,800
9. 1937 Cord 812 Sportsman Cabriolet Sold For $151,250
10. 1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster Sold For $143,000

Saturday total: $8.4M
99/171 lots sold: 58%
Average Sale Price: $85,275

Top 10 Saturday Sales:
1. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Sold For $1,430,000
2. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Sport Coupe Sold For $335,500
3. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 SportsRoof Sold For $330,000
4. 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 Coupe Sold For $302,500
5. 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster Sold For $286,000
6. 1970 Plymouth Cuda Hemi Hardtop Coupe Sold For $247,500
7. 2001 Prevost XL Sold For $206,250
8. 1959 Echidna Chassis #2 Roadster Sold For $162,800
9. 1937 Cord 812 Sportsman Cabriolet Sold For $151,250
10. 1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster Sold For $143,000

2014 Results through Saturday for comparison
Cumulative Total: $17.3M
348/580 lots sold: 60% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $49,829

SILVER
Cumulative Total through Saturday: $3.5M
218/324 lots sold: 67%
Average Sale Price: $16,039

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1956 DeSoto Firedome Convertible Sold For $85,320
2. 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Coupe Sold For $82,080
3. 1997 Lamborghini Diablo Sold For $71,280
4. 1931 Packard Standard 8 Convertible Sold For $64,800
5. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Sold For $60,480
6. 1975 Porsche 911 Sold For $59,940
7. 1932 Ford Hi-Boy Roadster Sold For $56,160
8. 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 396/325 Hardtop Coupe Sold For $52,380
9. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Sport Coupe Sold For $48,600
10. 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe Sold For $44,280

Saturday total: $2.0M
110/160 lots sold: 69%
Average Sale Price: $17,994

Top 10 Saturday Sales:
1. 1956 DeSoto Firedome Convertible  Sold For $85,320
2. 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Coupe Sold For $82,080
3. 1997 Lamborghini Diablo Sold For $71,280
4. 1931 Packard Standard 8 Convertible Sold For $64,800
5. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Sold For $60,480
6. 1975 Porsche 911 Sold For $59,940
7. 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 396/325 Hardtop Coupe Sold For $52,380
8. 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup Sold For $43,200
9. 1952 Chevrolet Custom Sold For $38,880
10. 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible Sold For $35,100

2014 Results for comparison
Total: $3.1M
179/331 lots sold: 54%
Average Sale Price: $17,414

SHELBY AMERICAN LAUNCHES 2015 SHELBY GT MUSCLECAR FOR ENTHUSIASTS WORLDWIDE

Anticipation in what lies beneath...

Anticipation in what lies beneath…

This news from my friends at Shelby American…

photos by Kirk Gerbracht 

My friend, Shelby American's official Vice President of fun and nitrous, Gary Patterson, takes the media and assembled crowd of fans for a walk around the new Shelby GT.

My friend, Shelby American’s official Vice President of fun and nitrous, Gary Patterson, takes the media and assembled crowd of fans for a walk around the new Shelby GT.

LAS VEGAS – Jan. 16, 2015 – Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), launched the first global Shelby GT muscle car, which is based on the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT. One of the most popular cars in Shelby history the 627 HP 2015 Shelby GT was unveiled today at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in Ford Motor Company’s booth. Shelby is now taking orders with delivery of cars planned for the beginning of the second quarter of 2015.

Shelby CEO Mr. Conway, quoted just below, is the white haired gent in the middle of this lineup

Shelby CEO Mr. Conway, quoted just below, is the white haired gent in the middle of this lineup

“This 2015 Shelby GT incorporates all of the engineering lessons we’ve learned building high performance vehicles over the past 50 years,” said Joe Conway, co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American “With the international distribution of the current Ford Mustang, we worked closely with our partners to develop a car that can be offered in both North America and overseas. It’s the first Shelby muscle car in our history designed from day one to be a truly global vehicle.”

Lots of special Ford people on hand, including Patricia and Bob Bondurant here with Patterson

Lots of special Ford people on hand, including Patricia and Bob Bondurant here with Patterson

In 2007, Ford Division, Carroll Shelby and Ford Racing created the Shelby GT. Beginning as 4.6L Mustang GT’s assembled at Ford, they were shipped to Shelby in Las Vegas for transformation. Around 8,000 Shelby GT’s were built from 2007 to 2008 and the wildly popular car dominated its SCCA racing class. In 2013, Shelby American returned the Shelby GT to its lineup after a five year hiatus.

New GT isn't cheap, but packs high levels of exclusive vehicle specific content and lots of opportunity for personalization to make your Shelby GT truly YOUR Shelby GT

New GT isn’t cheap, but packs high levels of exclusive vehicle specific content and lots of opportunity for personalization to make your Shelby GT truly YOUR Shelby GT

“We took a new approach with the 2015 Shelby GT,” said Shelby American Vice President of Operations Akos J. Feher. “We had a lot of fun designing these cars and ended up building the most powerful Shelby GT ever offered without sacrificing reliability. All exterior parts were designed and developed in-house, with every component exclusive to Shelby. We only used lightweight carbon fiber for all the aerodynamic components, including the brand new hood. The components were designed to allow a high level of customization for our customers, like the new billet aluminum front grilles.”

Who doesn't like Big Power?  Shelby supercharges the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 up to 627 horse

Who doesn’t like Big Power? Shelby supercharges the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 up to 627 horse

Every aspect of the Shelby GT is enhanced to create a potent all-around performer. Like it’s predecessor, this car features Ford Racing Performance Parts including a 627 HP supercharger, performance handling kit and half shafts. Gearing has been upgraded 3.73 gears and paired with chrome-tipped Borla exhaust. The Shelby GT rides on a staggered set of WELD Racing wheels shod with sticky Michelin tires.

This car loves the twisties and can handle the curves thanks to the new performance handling kit. The Wilwood six piston front brakes ensure the car can stop on a dime. The base car’s good looks are enhanced by adding a new hood with functional air vents and other functional aerodynamic components like a 2-piece rear diffuser. All of the Shelby exclusive exterior parts are made of carbon fiber; they are not only functional but also look great either painted or unpainted. Shelby exclusive front grilles, made entirely out of billet aluminum highlight the already aggressive nose of the car.

Let 'em in!  Instead of the usual media only press conference, the Shelby GT reveal was held in the Ford Booth at Barrett-Jackson with the public and all Shelby enthusiasts welcome.  One Shelby exec commented that this was critical "because without the public, our customers and our fans, we got nuthin"

Let ‘em in! Instead of the usual media only press conference, the Shelby GT reveal was held in the Ford Booth at Barrett-Jackson with the public and all Shelby enthusiasts welcome. One Shelby exec commented that this was critical “because without the public, our customers and our fans, we got nuthin”

A Shelby GT can be built based on either a manual or automatic Mustang GT, is 50 state emissions legal in the USA and runs on pump gas. Shelby’s most demanding customers can order a ’15 Shelby GT with a long list of options including a 700+HP performance upgrade, adjustable suspension, upgraded big brake kit, and a number of interior upgrades.

“The 2015 Shelby GT is a nicely balanced muscle car that does everything well, whether on the track or on the drag strip” said Gary Patterson, Shelby American Vice President of Strategic Sales and Media Relations. “This post-title program takes performance to extreme levels. At the same time, the styling is sleek yet uniquely American with touches from Shelby history. Based on the fantastic new Ford Mustang platform, the Shelby GT can easily double as formidable daily driver and then run rings around the competition at track events.”

Already nice Mustang GT cabin becomes that much nicer with lots of Shelby upgrades

Already nice Mustang GT cabin becomes that much nicer with lots of Shelby upgrades

This is a post-title program; Ford dealers worldwide can contact Shelby American to build a Shelby GT based on a car owned by a customer or one of their 2015 Mustang GT fastbacks or convertibles. Each car will be issued a Shelby American CSM number for documentation in the official Shelby American Worldwide Registry to maximize potential collectability.

“The demand for Shelby vehicles, parts and products around the globe continues to skyrocket,” said Neil Cummings co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Carroll Shelby Licensing. “In addition to a superb facility in Las Vegas, Shelby is establishing mod shops worldwide. This will allow enthusiasts worldwide who have access to a Ford Mustang to transform it into a Shelby GT locally.”

The price of the base Shelby GT modification, not including the Ford Mustang GT, is $39,995. Customers can build their Shelby GT online at http://www.shelbyamerican.com/2015shelbygt.asp or call (702) 942-7325/ (844) 974-3529.

About Shelby American, Inc.
Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby American manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products. The company builds authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA and 289 street car component vehicles; it offers the Shelby GT, 1000, GT500 Super Snake and GTS post-title packages for the 2005-2015 Ford Mustang. Shelby American also builds the Shelby Raptor muscle truck and Shelby Focus ST hot hatch. For more information, visit www.shelbyamerican.com.

MOTOR4TOYS SHOW A HUGE SUCCESS

Like I said, Lots of Lambos...

Lots of Lambos…

I wanted to show you photos from and tell you about this great event, which took place in early December, before talking about a holiday toy and fun raiser show seemed too strange in the new year.

Lots of Lotii too...

Lots of Lotii too…

 

Plenty of Porsches...

Plenty of Porsches…

 

and Volumes of Vettes...

Volumes of Vettes…

Motor4Toys is an annual show held in a massive office complex parking lot dedicated to a great day with cars, and as a ginormous toy drive and fund raiser for underpriviledged kids. There are a lot of volunteers behind the effort, but the driver of it all is an enthusiast named Dustin Troyan. Troyan is also the key fig behind a well known San Fernando Valley, California cruise in called Supercar Sunday. He’s also the kingpin of a small automotive enthusiast publishing company and produces a free magazine that’s pretty well done, and I read every issue.

and Thankfully, Tons of Toys...job well done Dustin and Company!

and Thankfully, Tons of Toys…job well done Dustin and Company!

No matter, M4T’s goal was to gather 70,000 toys (no typo) for the 2014 holiday season. There’s no charge to get into the show, nor any cost to enter your car…except the donation of a new unwrapped toy. This gig now draws many thousands of cars and people, and the combined effort assembled a literal mountain of toys. It was a heartwarming site to see the piles and piles of stuff that people donated. Some very generous folks also donated a ton of money too; last I heard that kitty was up over $70,000.

Big Props to these attractive and friendly Elf bunnies who goodnaturedly posed for countless happysnaps and selfies with an appreciative crowd

Big Props to these attractive and friendly Elf bunnies who goodnaturedly (if that’s even a word) posed for countless happysnaps and selfies with an appreciative crowd

I don’t know Dustin well, although we’ve communicated a few times about automotive publishing, but I commend him and his band of volunteers for putting this event on. It’s a lot of work for a lot of people, and certainly a high return on that investment.

Next year’s event will likely again take place in early December, and if you are anywhere near the left coast, you should check it out. It’s strictly a run what you brung deal, and you’ll see everything from rat rods to high end Porsches, Lambos, and LOTS of Ferraris.

Check out more of these great Kirk Gerbracht photos…and keep an eye on this show for next year at www.motor4toys.com

I can't think of another car that drew any more attention than did this Barn Fresh Shelby GT350.  Not a runner, it was towed to the show and always had a crowd around it wanting to know its story

I can’t think of another car that drew any more attention than did this Barn Fresh Shelby GT350. Not a runner, it was towed to the show and always had a crowd around it wanting to know its story

 

Definately not a runner, but appreciated for what it was.  It deserves, and will likely receive a frame off restoration

Definately not a runner, but appreciated for what it was. It deserves, and will likely receive a frame off restoration

 

This notice was taped in the window, and is all we know about this Shelby Mustang's story

This notice was taped in the window, and is all we know about this Shelby Mustang’s story

 

Lots of muscle on hand, this one really got my Goat (sorry...)

Lots of muscle on hand, this ’68 GTO really got my Goat (sorry…)

 

And what guy doesn't want a woody?

And what guy doesn’t want a woody? (OK, also sorry…)

 

As I said, its run what ya brung, and something for everyone...see you here next December.

As I said, its run what ya brung, and something for everyone…see you here next December.

Jay Leno to Auction His 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 in Support of the USO

Jay and Challenger

Jay Leno buys a lot of cars, and has a massive and fabulous collection of them, in the most fabulous block of warehouse garages and shops you’ll ever see.  Yet he never sells any off. On rare occasion, he’s been known to donate them to be sold for real and worthy charity causes. And I thought you might be interested in reading about this announcement from my friends at Gooding & Company auction house. I’ve seen this SRT8 and its absolutely like new. He’s already got a new 700+ horsepower Challenger Hellcat, so why would he need this “old” 2008 Hemi SRT8 laying around. I’d love to have it, but probably can’t afford it. No matter, it’ll sell to a lucky owner and for a good cause. From my friends at Gooding & Company...

The early production Challenger will be presented at the auction house’s annual
Scottsdale Auctions on Saturday, January 17

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (January 8, 2014) – Gooding & Company, the auction house acclaimed for selling the world’s most significant and valuable collector cars, is privileged to announce that USO CEO & President J.D. Crouch II, 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and USO Board Member General George Casey, along with Hollywood’s champion of car collecting and long-time USO supporter Jay Leno, will present the comedian’s 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 at Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale Auctions on Saturday, January 17.

The celebrated comedian has generously pledged that the proceeds from his Challenger, donated to the USO, will support the work of the USO and its longstanding mission of lifting the spirits of forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition, and families of the fallen.

This special presentation of a true American original, paired with the always entertaining commentary by Leno, provides an exciting way to support his commitment to America’s troops and military families, and raise awareness of the USO.

Jay Leno’s 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, Estimate: $50,000 – $80,000
Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photo by Brian Henniker

“I rarely sell any of my vehicles in my personal collection unless it’s for something as important as the USO,” proclaimed comedian Jay Leno.

“We are honored to have a part in supporting Jay and the USO’s commitment to bringing joy to so many service members and their families,” says President and Founder, David Gooding. “Together, with the presence of J.D. Crouch II and General George Casey from the USO, we hope the Challenger will yield a tremendous contribution to support for troops and families. We are very happy to help support such a wonderful and positive cause.”

“We are honored to have Jay Leno, a long-time supporter of our nation’s troops and a dear friend of the USO, help us further our mission,” says J.D. Crouch II, USO CEO & President. “This extraordinary gesture shows his genuine appreciation for everything they do for us at home and abroad. The USO thanks Mr. Leno and Gooding & Company, and knows this pledge will make many troops and military families’ futures brighter.”

Jay Leno’s 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
The iconic Dodge Challenger of 1970–1974 was the inspiration behind the 2006 Detroit Auto Show concept car that created a firestorm of demand, making the new-generation Challenger a production reality by 2008. The new generation Challenger marks an eye-catching design and engineering tour de force with stunning performance, readied with 425 HP, a 6.1-Liter V-8 engine, 425 BHP at 6,200 RPM and a five-speed Autostick transmission and has recently been fitted with a new set of continental tires. The entire US production run of 6,400 cars was pre-sold to America’s premier car collectors, including this Challenger, owned from new by entertainment icon Jay Leno. In addition to top-level specifications equipped on all first-year Challengers, Mr. Leno personally selected the striking black color and supplementary options on this bespoke example that will be presented at auction on Saturday, January 17.

**Images for the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 can be found via the link below. Images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company, Photos by Brian Henniker.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l19lqtjh7ujwkza/AABQ5E5iT73t0yofnoIZj2hJa?dl=0

About Gooding & Company
Gooding & Company, internationally celebrated for its world-class automotive auctions producing record-breaking results, provides unparalleled service in the collector car market, offering a wide range of services including private and estate sales, appraisals, and collection management. This year we will present The Scottsdale Auctions on January 16 and 17, 2015, the Amelia Island Auction on March 13, 2015 and as the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, our premier Pebble Beach Auctions on August 15 and 16, 2015. Preceding each auction, a complete catalogue is made available online at www.goodingco.com and the sale is broadcasted live on our website. For additional vehicle information and up-to-the-minute results, follow Gooding & Company on Facebook and Twitter @GoodingCompany

About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

The Scottsdale Auctions
Date(s): Friday, January 16 at 11:00am and Saturday, January 17 at 11:00am
Location: Scottsdale Fashion Square, 4700 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Public preview: January 14-17
Auctions 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
RSS: www.goodingco.com/rss.xml

Already Missing Edward Herrmann

Ed at his very polished Best, in his role as Awards Ceremony Emcee at Pebble Beach

Ed at his very polished Best, in his role as Awards Ceremony Emcee at Pebble Beach

I’m still in disbelief and shock over the New Year’s Eve passing of Ed Herrmann.

I first became aware of Mr. Herrmann’s power and capability as an actor from his portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the TV miniseries, Eleanor and Franklin and also enjoyed his work on some very cleverly written and well acted Dodge truck commercials. We also got to know and further love him as “the father” on The Gilmore Girls TV series.  I didn’t at the time know that he was a serious and committed car guy.

All too sadly and soon, something we'll never see or hear again: Edward Herrmann calling the shots on the ramp at Pebble Beach

All too sadly and soon, something we’ll never see or hear again: Edward Herrmann’s educated and always perfectly delivered commentary on the ramp at Pebble Beach.  Ed was a big guy, 6’5″ if he was an inch and probably 275 pounds, but his heart and persona were so much larger than any human frame could hold

I first became aware of him as an auto aficionado when in 1999 he first took the stage at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the newly created role of the show’s Master of Ceremonies, a job created especially for him, and a role he was ideally created for.

We got to know each other about ten years ago when I was chosen as one of three “play by play” announcers for the the Pebble Beach awards ceremony. In preparation for this job, I was privileged to attend the meetings of Pebble’s “Ramp Committee” the group that executes the show’s detailed, expertly produced and well choreographed awards presentation. Ed and I spent days together in those meetings, connected easily, and hit it off instantly. We’d been friends ever since. He had a knife-edged sense of humor and as an award winning actor of considerable stature, he was a master of accents. During the meetings, when we switched discussion, from say, French to German cars, he’d sit and mutter a barrage of swear words in French then German accents, while I tried to avoid laughing and/or wetting myself in the middle of these very businesslike meetings.  During the opening of the awards ceremony that year, Ed introduced me to the crowd with the best intro I’ve ever been given.

Ed's beloved Auburn, taking home some hardware across the ramp at the Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance

Ed’s beloved Auburn, taking home some hardware across the ramp at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Ed didn’t have a large car collection, but he had some jewels over time to be sure. He honored me greatly when he accepted my request and invitation to be interviewed for my My First Car book. You’ll find his story beginning on page 137, and if you can’t wait to find out, his first car was an Austin-Healey 100-6…

Edward Herrmann was always the master of all he surveyed; here calling the shots of another Best of Show winner at Pebble Beach, with Concours Chaiman Sandra Button just to his right

Edward Herrmann; the master of all he surveyed; here calling the shots of another Best of Show winner at Pebble Beach, with Concours Chairman Sandra Button just to his right

Edward Herrman passed away of terminal brain cancer December 31, 2014, at the long-before-his-time age of 71. My heart goes out to his very cool wife Starr and his three children. I will forever miss his rich baritone voice, his hearty laugh, his enthusiasm, his wicked sense of humor, and all of his otherworldly talents.

photography by me, and also courtesy of The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Mike Brewer and Edd China; hanging with the Wheeler Dealer guys

Nice Blokes Indeed: Mike Brewer and Edd China

Nice Blokes Indeed: Mike Brewer and Edd China

Linda J. Stone photos

I went to a most wonderful car event over the weekend (more on that once I get the photos from my shooter) and ran into a couple of car community celebs, they being Mike and Edd, the creators and stars of the popular, “buy ‘em cheap, clean ‘em up, and sell ‘em on” show called Wheeler Dealers.  It’s produced primarily in the UK, although they take the show on the road ever so often, and have produced many segments here in the U.S.

 

Mike is the dark haired, perennially cheerful wheeler dealer, a long experienced hand at buying and selling cars.  Edd is the tall chap with the mop of grayish hair that fixes anything the cars need, or upgrades as desired, to sell them on quickly and hopefully for profit.  Edd is among the most amazing mechanic types I’ve ever seen; he always finds the just right and generally smart way to do things; he seldom resorts to the most expensive path, but doesn’t shortsheet or mickeymouse anything either.  He can rebuild an engine, paint a car, swap out a frame, weld up an exhaust system, or strip and completely redo an interior.  Golden hands, good eyes, level head.

Me and Edd; Mike and I are about the same general size and dimension; if the old boy ever gets tired of the Wheeler Dealer racket, I'd be happy to take his spot.

Me and Edd; Mike and I are about the same general size and dimension; if the old boy ever gets tired of the Wheeler Dealer racket, I’d be happy to take his spot.

Anyway, the boys were doing some production work here in Southern Cal, and we caught up with them strolling the rows of pre-1932 motors at the car gathering I mentioned.  No camera crew on scene, they were just cruising the cars, and chatting with the many fans who recognized them and mobbed them for selfies and handshakes (myself included).  And they are as absolutely charming and friendly as they seem on TV; more than willing to let all of us be their groupies.  Mike said that each show can involve up to 100 hours of filming, and lots of voice over and edit time to stitch it all together.  Based on my experience doing automotive, I can tell you that number is accurate.

Edd is one long tall boy; and so is my friend 6'7" Jeff on the right.  We put them shoulder to shoulder to see who was closer to the sky, and I"ll call it about a wash...

Edd is one long tall boy; and so is my friend 6’7″ Jeff on the right. We put them shoulder to shoulder to see who was closer to the sky, and I”ll call it about a wash…

My thanks to Mike and Edd for being truly good eggs, and for the great show they produce.  Wish I’d thought of it.

Make sure to catch Wheeler Dealers on Velocity television.