July 23rd, 2012
While in Birmingham, Alabama I had the opportunity to go over to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum which houses an insane collection of motorcycles. Needless to say when I stepped inside I was completely floored and wondered why I haven’t seen or heard more of this museum. Not only is the collection spectacular, the building in itself is amazing and gives views to the track below. Since I hadn’t heard more of this museum, I only had my wife’s camera with me and a 50mm lens. I tried to send an email inquiring about filming but didn’t hear back. Next time I am around I will inquire earlier and hopefully get a chance to film here.
On a side note Birmingham has surprisingly been one of my most favorite cities on our tour of the US. Here are some pictures with no rhyme or reason and stay tuned for more.
July 11th, 2012
One of the numerous benefits of traveling around the country is that you get to meet some great people. You also get to see some of the incredible talent that exists here in our great country. When you pair the two together you get to meet someone like John Jackson of NotStock Photography. If you haven’t checked out any of his fantastic work you should head immediately over to his Facebook page and look at the work he produces as he, like ourselves, travels the country in search of hot rods and bikes to shoot. Not only does he travel upwards of 60,000 miles a year, he does it in a Corvair van.
We had a chance to meet up in Phoenix, AZ. in 108 degree weather and that is when I learned that it had no A/C and topped out at 60mph. Talk about some serious dedication to the passion of what you do. The van is bagged with a custom paint job and a seriously cool interior that also doubles as a bit of a rolling art gallery for his photography. I caught him at around 7,000 miles into his current road trip which he generally does about 4 times a year. John is mostly interested in finding those unique rides that don’t get a lot of press but are equally as cool and important as the stuff rolling out of bigger shops. This requires traversing the entire country in search of great people, cool cars, and great backgrounds. Now if I can only catch him on his next trip through Utah for a certain BMW 2002…..
June 29th, 2012
What do you drive to work when you build some of the finest hot rods around? Why one of these fine trucks of course….
June 20th, 2012
This is our second day hanging out(literally) in Mexico City and it has been a great experience so far. Here is a quick shot of some of the stuff we have been covering while we are down here. There is quite a bit more to come including some scheduled track time later this week. I love traveling to new places and seeing how the car scene exists in them.
June 19th, 2012
There is just nothing else that really grabs my attention like a wagon. Gone are the days of the mighty station wagon rumbling across the country National Lampoon style. For a long time there has been a dearth of wagons across the American landscape and it is great to finally see a revival happening along the likes of the CTS-V, TSX, and the upcoming 3-Series wagon.
For myself, there has always been a love of wagons. There is nothing that matches their versatility, especially when it comes to hauling around video equipment. For a long while I was a bit of a Honda Civic Wagon baron and at one point owned 5 of them. In my head also dances the visions of a Swedish turbo brick gracing a garage when I finally have one. So when I came across Duane Schaffer’s Datsun wagon I was in love. Stanced out to a nice level, it is great to see this wagon running down the road in all its glory. Cruising around town with the rag-top open is a great experience and is a fun way to enjoy any car let alone a wagon. Pair that with a bagged Toyota Hilux and Duane’s garage is one that brings me a tinge of envy.
Duane, like many of us, is a family man and loves to learn and do things on his own with the resources that are available to him. Both the wagon and the Hilux aren’t show quality cars and they don’t need to be to gain maximum enjoyment. It is the pleasure of getting an old car back on the road to ones styling and taste and having fun, and believe me, they are both a ton of fun to cruise around. Duane is passing this all down to his son who is very much into cars and is training up another unbelievable generation of car guys.
June 18th, 2012
We are off to Mexico City for a week for some car related stuff. We are in the airport right now but hopefully we will have internet to post some car related stuff this week! Here is a preview to tomorrow’s film entitled “Wagon Heritage”. I love me a good wagon.
June 12th, 2012
It is not often that I get to spend so much time with one amazing car. During this trip I have been fortunate enough to spend some time with the new owner of this Skyline, Eric Bauer. Going back to where we left off testing at Miller Motorsports Park, Eric flew to the JDM Legends shop in Salt Lake City and drove his car back to Southern California. This special car couldn’t be in better hands. Not only does Eric do 3D modeling for most of the various automakers around the world, he also teaches at the Art Center College of Design and helps prepare the future generations of auto designers. It is nice to know that such a special car has landed in special hands.
In filming this episode we were able to use the Art Center building as a backdrop which seemed equally fitting for shooting this Skyline. Also we were able to take the car up the magnificent Angeles Crest Highway for some spirited driving. Hearing the sound echo off the mountain walls is a sound to behold. Eric has a lot of love for this car and is a twelve year story in the making. Eric is all about driving the Skyline as often as he can and I can see why. Every ride consists of waves, honks, pictures, smiles, and conversation. This Skyline is the ultimate magnet and even those who aren’t into cars can tell that it is something special. The joy that it brings to Eric is infectious and you can’t help but smile in watching. Here is to many years of this car cruising around SoCal and to the glorious sound that follows.
June 8th, 2012
I have to admit that this trip is really an opportunity for me to live vicariously through others. I have had a few glimpses into the lives of others as they have so graciously offered the opportunity to pilot their cars down the road. Today, I was able to slip behind the wheel of a very familiar car, the BMW 2002. One year newer and with arguably better taillights and bumpers, this 1973 2002tii looks very much the same as my 1974 2002.
For those with sharp eyes you may notice one small difference on the hood where a small Alpina sticker resides. This is where this car and my car separate in a big way.
You see, this is no regular 2002tii, this is a Hardy & Beck Alpina A4s and somewhat of a sleeper one at that. This one is devoid of the bits and bobs that loudly declare the differences beneath the hood and is the way the original owner intended it to be. With one step on the gas this 02 reveals what is lying beneath the hood which is this beautiful and rare Alpina motor. After staring into the engine bay for a long while I began to think that every 2002 should look this way under the hood.
The beauty doesn’t stop here. Included is a 5-speed transmission, limited slip, and special “green dot” Bilstein struts. After taking this for spirited spin up and down the hill country of Austin I couldn’t believe how smooth this car felt. The engine glided along and made my poor little guy sitting in storage feel a bit slow and sloppy. This is my first experience with this engine and will never be able to forgot the distinct way it felt powering down the road and especially the way it sounded. It made a very distinct noise that is far different from a standard 2002 or 2002tii.
It doesn’t stop there. On the inside is one of my absolute favorite parts and that is the Recaro seats. Firm and snug and ready to whip you through the hills, this is one of the best looking seats of all time.
Anyone have one for sale that won’t break the bank? I think I am in the market for one . Well maybe I could at least afford a set of these seats?
June 6th, 2012
I have been spending a lot of time in the editing suite known as the Airstream. Now with over 400gb of footage it is starting to get to the point of craziness with all of the footage that needs to be edited. It can take anywhere from four to twenty hours of editing for each of these episodes with most of them falling around eight hours. I for sure have my work cut out for me.
Here is a few stills from some of the ones I am currently working on.
June 4th, 2012
Just a reminder to tune in to our Facebook Page for more day to day coverage of our trip. I post things there on almost a daily basis and you can see some new things like this truck from Cars & Coffee in Dallas!