Friday, March 6, 2015


Everything but the same old cars

Archive for the ‘Eventage’ Category

Doctor Bennett Auction Roundup

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On September - 24 - 2012


Doctor Bennett himself opened up the Bennett Collection auction with an introduction and a few remarks. What drives a man to build a collection of everything from Hillman Imps to Halibrand Shrike Indy race cars is difficult to sum up, but the Doc abides. “There are two great passions that rule my life. Automobiles and medicine. I’m still doing both. I’m still running a general practice everyday. And this is my collection. I’m 74 years old. You can’t take it with you. So I’m hoping you will take it with you! I hope someone ends up as happy as I was to own them. ”

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Turbocharged Minivans and Lasers

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On September - 8 - 2010

turbo-dodge-leadToday marks recognition of the unsung yet pioneering heroes of the four-cylinder turbocharged production automobile universe. These are the eighties turbocharged Mopar four-cylinders. Long before you could buy a universal turbocharger kit of questionable origin and functionality off eBay for a few hundred bucks, you could step up to your local Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth dealer and drive off the lot in a factory-equipped turbocharged K-car, Omni, Voyager minivan, and even Laser variants. Near 200 horsepower doesn’t seem like much today, but these cars were quick for their time. Carroll Shelby jumped into the mix and produced the Dodge Omni GLHS, which the eighties turbo faithful soon figured out stood for goes like hell.
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Now and Later Turbo Pinto Wagon

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On August - 24 - 2010

turbo-pinto-wagon-leadMike Streets could have crammed one of many and readily available Ford V8 mills into the engine bay of his 1974 Pinto Wagon. Instead he chose to transplant a 2.3-liter single overhead cam turbocharged four-banger from a 1988 Ford Thunderbird in place of the aspirated stocker. Why? “A V8 would have been too easy”, said Mike – who is a former SCCA Pinto road racer and current owner of the now legendary Boss Pinto. Mike drives this wagon-in-progress whenever possible, running the boost at around 9 or 10 psi through the stock turbo for road going amusement. What you see here is only the beginning, or perhaps the late middle of an ongoing project that will eventually result in the turbocharged Boss Pinto panel wagon Ford never made. Read the rest of this entry »

The Jim Backus Old-Fashioned Award: Ferrari 330 GTS

Posted by Davey Johnson On August - 23 - 2010

330_gts_11We first encountered this Ferrari in true Clunkbucket fashion. The owner, Scott Isquick of Pepper Pike, Ohio, was having a little trouble getting it started outside the post-show banquet at the 2008 Greenwich Concours. Finally, the 4.0 liter V12 caught, interrupting the sharp mechanical shriek of the starter. The ‘67 motored off into the Connecticut darkness, leaving a dark hole where its rather inexplicable aura — something beyond mere Ferrari-ness — had held us rapt. The drive back to Manhattan in our borrowed ‘05 Rolls-Royce Phantom felt a little less special after the encounter with the one-of-99 330 GTS. In fact, we recall positing at the time that we’d gladly trade three of the Anglo-Teutonic brutes for that particular Italian droptop.

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Fiat of Calamitous Intent

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On August - 16 - 2010

fiat-128-sportFrom the I could have been a contender department comes this bone stock all-original survivor 1978 Fiat 128 Sport from the 2010 Concours d’Lemons. The plucky Fiat did not take home a prize of any kind. It stands as the first of a few coming contraptions that for reasons not understood went home sans trophy. Owner Steve has driven the Fiat occasionally and on the weekends since acquiring the dust-covered compact several years ago from a man with a possible top secret past. This is the first time Steve took the Fiat to any sort of show, and the farthest the Fiat had ever gone from its Santa Clara, California home. Read the rest of this entry »

Crapcans and Minivans to Invade Monterey

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On August - 5 - 2010


It’s that time of summer when the diffuse light and crisp sea air of the Monterey, California will play host to the viewing of the world’s finest automobiles pristine Mercury Bobcats and Chevrolet Citations. The seersucker and old-fashioned sipping bunch down at Pebble Beach could suffer an aneurysm if they ventured up the road from their storied event to the collection of cars and contraptions known as the Concours d’Lemons. A new feature for the second annual Monterey running of the event is the added enjoyment of a swap meet, or autojumble for the tweed cap and Triumph TR7 crowd. Minivans and the SUV are featured vehicles this time around. At last you no longer have to wonder where to go on August 14th in that mint 1990 Pontiac Trans Sport while dressed in full Lieutenant Commander Worf Klingon regalia. Stuff the cargo compartments full of Citroën 2CV parts and head to Toro Park in Monterey with great dispatch.

The Concours d’Lemons is scheduled for August 14th, 2010 at Toro Regional Park in Monterey. For more information head over to the Concours d’Lemons web site.

Tatra Plan and Party

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 27 - 2010

tatra-party-leadThis is not the the first time for rear engine air-cooled Czechoslovakian automobiles and contraptions around here. First there was the Tatra. For motoring across the vast snow-covered plains of Mother Russia, a purpose-built Tatra snowmobile. Ham and eggs for breakfast near Chinatown in Los Angeles? Time for yet another, modern Tatra 603. This is, however, a first for authentic Czech goulash and Tatra-shaped cookies in celebration of Tatra. With the exception of the Tatra snowmobile, the aforementioned Tatras and more were in attendance at a party in honor of Los Angeles Tatra historians and restorers Paul Greenstein and Dydia DeLyser taking the coveted New York Times Collectible Car of the Year Contest win with the Tatra – their gorgeous 1941 Tatra T87. The Blue Star Cafe played host to the party, served up the authentic Czech food, a T87 shaped cake, a Tatra motorcycle and sidecar that never was, and saw the surprise appearance of a Tatraplan. The four-cylinder beauty motored down from Hrad Von Greenstein under its own power for the big celebration by burning a combination of antique gasoline and distilled spiders. Fun was had by all.

A special thanks to Paul, Dydia, Harpo the wonder dog, the mighty Tatra T87, and the Blue Star Cafe for making all this fun possible.

El Mirage is No Illusion

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On June - 11 - 2010

el-mirage-leadWhile far saltier dry lake cousin Bonneville gets most of the glory, it was in the dusty Southern California high desert where drag and dry lake racing got going on a grass roots level. Miscreants, racers, nerds, and tough guys alike motored out from Los Angeles and Orange County to the high desert in hopped-up gow jobs and jalopies. The goal was to run flat out in a unlimited contest of speed and on-the-spot innovation. The trip out from the Los Angeles basin to the dry lake beds was a challenge in itself. Over one hundred miles in each direction without modern convenience was no easy drive for cars powered by junk and recycled speed equipment from circle track cars, or whatever else they could scrounge up.

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Tool of the Week: Fiat SST

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Sep-3-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Replace Window Regulator

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Aug-28-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Five Tips for DIY Automobile Repair

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Jul-21-2010 I 8 COMMENTS