The saddest race

June 29, 2015

Picture this, two funny cars inch to the line at
the Auto Club Famoso Raceway. The vibration from
the combined 16,000+ horsepower of the engines at
idle can be felt in the seat of the pants of those
sitting in the bleachers. Drivers Roger Garten and
Matt Bynum prepare to launch.


The Christmas tree changes from red to yellow to
green and the cars shoot off the line like jet
fighters with enough noise to deafen the best of
ears. Then, 330 feet into the 1320 foot track the
cars collide and careen, tumble, and dance in an
explosion of parts, body panels, and smoke.

The safety crews arrive in mere seconds, both
cars lost their fiberglass bodies, and crews had to
cut the roll cage to get Garten out while Bynum
appeared uninjured. Both drivers were rushed to the
nearest hospital while loved ones and fans expect
the worse but hope for the best.

All this happened last Saturday and early news
reported both Roger Garten and Matt Bynum were in
stable condition. But as later news would confirm,
Roger Garten died as a result of his injuries.
The man who had been behind the wheel of the
War Horse funny car Mustang since 1973 is now
racing in heaven.


Garten’s death is the first at the track since
March 8th, 2008. Our condolences to the family and
our fellow fans. Legends don’t die but live on in
Comments are always welcome.

Weekend update

June 26, 2015


After another beautiful day here on the east coast
of Iowa we almost forgot to post about upcoming
events. The drizzle only lasted all day and the
temperature never got out of the 60s. So here are
some events.

Ongoing through tomorrow is the Bloomington Gold
Covette Show & Swap at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Also ongoing through tomorrow is the 8th Annual
Heartland Nova Reunion held at the Marriott Hotel
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Ongoing through Sunday is the Street Machine
Nationals held at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in
Du Quion, Illinois.

If you were planning to attend the Wheels for
Wegener’s Car Show the venue has been moved. During
recent storms lightning took out the timing system
at Cordova International Raceway,

The show was set up to benifit the Van Zuiden
family and has been moved to JP’s Landing, 102 N.
Main Street in Albany, Illinois. The event will
run Saturday from noon to 5 pm.

Saturday is also the Freedom Celebration Car Show
at the Hennepin Canal Parkway in Colona, Illinois.

Saturday and Sunday is the 3rd Annual Maquoketa
Motor Madness at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in
Maquoketa, Iowa.

There are many more event but our mind wanders.
Ever seen a 1937 Horch? Now you can say you have.

We always thought the 1948 Daimler DE-36 “Green
Goddess” was a futuristic looking car for the day.

If you are of a certain age you may remember when
“surf” music was popular and then merged with hot
rod music in the 60’s. The following is one such
song from the Rip Chords recorded in 1964.

That concludes our update and now we’re fixing a
pizza. Enjoy your weekend.
Comments are always welcome.

Buying American?

June 22, 2015


We have been down this road before but the new
Kogod Made In America Auto Index is out and we’ll
bring it up again.

This index from the Kogod School of Business tells
us how “American” our cars are. They compute in
the following:

1. Profit Margin: Where the automaker’s global
headquarters is located. This is relevant as profits
from cars return to the shareholders in the home
country. (6 percent)

2. Labor: Location of assembly, included as the money
supports workers in this country. (6 percent)

3. Location of Research & Development activities:
Essentially, where the headquarters is located.
(6 percent)

4. Inventory, Capital and Other Expenses: the
location of assembly. (11 percent)

5. Engine: The location of production.
(14 percent)

6. Transmission: The location of production.
(7 percent)

7. Body, Chassis and Electrical Components:
The location of where they are made. (50 percent)

Who won?

It is a tie for the most American vehicle with the
Ford F-series pickup and the Chevrolet Corvette
sharing the top honor with a score of 87.5. That
is followed by the Buick Enclave with an 86, the
Chevrolet Traverse with an 86, the GMC Acadia with
an 86, and the GMC Denali Acadia also with an 86.

Who lost?

The Ford Transit Connect came in 67th with a score
of 14.5. At 66th is the Chevrolet SS with a 15.5
and tied with that is the Chevrolet Caprice also
at 15.5. At 65th is the Chevrolet Spark with a
16, and the Ford Fiesta took 64th with a 22.

The Dodge Avenger is the first Chrysler product
shown with an 82.

Other makes are covered but we’ve always equated
the Big 3 with the words “American Made. The list
is long and the makes and models are varied. For
the entire list go to the link above.

If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle you
may want to make this index part of your research.
The times they are a changing.
Comments are always welcome.

The unofficial history

June 21, 2015

We keep hearing the little men with big egos in
Washington, D.C. tell us that electric cars are the
way of the future in the 21st century, and the
uniformed swear it to be true.

So we thought we’d present a history of this
“modern” marvel and what some believe killed it.

Lets look at another one before we move on.

Some more recent history-

In the 1970s high gas prices came and the
government funded efforts to make an electric car.

1982 saw the first modern hybrid cars made at the
GE Research Labs. It ran by computer and is a
direct ancestor to todays hybrid cars.

In 1989 Audi designed a hybrid called the “Duo”
that used NiCad batteries and a gas engine. It
never saw production.

At the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995 Toyota showed off
a hybrid concept car and the first Prius went on
sale in 1997.

Tesla Motors debuted the Tesla roadster in 2008
with a 200 mile range and a price tag out of reach
for all but the deepest pockets ($110,000).

2009 saw the Ford Fusion hybrid.
In 2010 in was the Nissan Leaf.

And in 2011 Chevrolet started selling the Volt.

If you’re still reading this you have now absorbed
the unofficial, unscientific, not necessarily
politically correct history of the electric
Comments are always welcome.

Some car news

June 19, 2015

It is now official, the bill has been passed, and
July 10, 2015 has been declared National Collector
Car Appreciation Day.


Also official, this is Back to the 50’s weekend.
It is being held through Sunday, at the
Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minn. If
you like cars 1964 and older this is the event for
you. More information available here.

Saturday, June 20, is the River Valley Classics
“Rollin in the Oldies” cruise-in held at NorthPark
Mall in Davenport, Iowa. Starts at 5 pm, there is
a suggested $2 fee for spectators, and the fun
keeps going until everybody goes home. Find out
more here.

Starting Saturday June 20 and running through June
28 is the Hemmings Motor News Great American Tour
Route 66. Things kick off in Kirkwood, Missouri and
end up in Santa Monica, California. For more
details go here.

Sunday is Father’s Day. If your father is still
around call or stop by on his day.

Since this is about cars we’ll share a video of
the Ferguson Macmillan streamliner during a record
run of 237 mph at El Mirage. It was published June,

We’ll close with a car song. For those who have
been to cruise-ins and shows it should be familiar.
This one is animated.

All we have to do now is catch some good weather
and keep the shiny side up. Enjoy the weekend.
Comments are always welcome.


June 14, 2015

is Flag Day.


If you have one, please put it up. The first Flag
Day was in 1885, in Wisconsin, when BJ Cigrand
thought June 14th would be a good day to observe
it. He chose the date because it was the 108th
anniversary of the official naming the Stars
and Stripes as our national flag.

In a 1914 Flag Day address Franklin K. Lane, then
Secretary of the Interior, said the flag spoke to
him that morning and said: “I am what you make me,
nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright
gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

And on May, 30, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson
signed a proclamation designating June 14th of each
year as National Flag Day.

We were at the Open Run XXXIII Car Show yesterday
when the Vietnam Veterans presented the colors and
our National Anthem played. Everyone faced the flag
until the end of the ceremony. It was something to
see and we were proud to part of it.

Here are a handful of pictures we took before it
started spitting and we left for home.



Since I was on a Jerry Jeff Walker kick yesterday
this video spoke volumes to me. The song combined
with the slideshow had me in stitches.

We’re having another beautiful rainy day on the
east coast of Iowa and hope you’re having a great
day also.
Comments are always welcome.

A few things

June 12, 2015

The weekend is here again and we do have a few
upcoming events, but first a short video. This
was a city sponsored street race that did not
end well for this Corvette.

Now on to a few of the events around the east
coast of Iowa and neighboring Illinois.

Saturday, June 13th is the Scrap Drive Rod &
Custom Show held at the Boone County Fairgrounds
in Belvidere, Illinois from 7 am to 4 pm. Admission
is $10 for cars and $5 for spectators.

Saturday, June 13th is the Quad Cities Cruisers
Open Run XXXIII Car Show held at the Davenport
Learning Center in Davenport, Iowa from 4-9 pm.

Saturday, June 20th is the first Rollin’ In The
Oldies 2015 Summer Cruise-In at NorthPark Mall in
Davenport, Iowa. This event is hosted by the River
Valley Classics Car Club, starts at 5 pm and runs
until the fun runs out. A suggested $2 per
spectator is requested.

Saturday, June 27th is the Freedom Celebration Car
Show at the Hennepin Canal Parkway in Colona,
Illinois from 8 am to 2 pm. They even have a
breakfast from 7-10 am.

This video has some really great scenery and a
guy riding a bicycle down a hill.

Lets say you have a mosquito problem and you don’t
know how to enjoy your back yard without getting
eaten alive. Just build a VW like this one and your
problems will be solved.

With the passing of Jim Ed Brown we felt it
appropriate to end with the “Three Bells” by the

If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t
rise we’ll be at the Open Run tomorrow, I might
even remember my camera this time. Enjoy your
Comments are always welcome.


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