Thursday, February 22, 2018

Coming soon- the Dinner with Champions!

On Sunday night March 18 2018 at the "Dinner with Champions" famed auto racing broadcaster Gary Gerould will interview a pair of auto racing legends. The dinner and program a fund raiser for Northern California Auto Racing, Inc. (NCAR) to build an auto racing museum, will be held at the Dante Club on 2330 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Sacramento, California.

Gerould will interview local racer Rico Abreu, who won the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals back to back in 2015 and 2016, as well as legendary racer and author Jack Hewitt the first and only driver to win all four divisions of racing at the USAC 4-Crown Nationals in 1998.

The World of Outlaws (WoO) sprint car series will be racing in Stockton at the Stockton dirt track on March 16th & 17th and NCAR has received notice that many WoO drivers plan to attend. Jimmy Boyd of Dixon, California the winner of the very first WoO race held at the Devils Bowl in Mesquite, Texas will also be on hand at the “Dinner with Champions” to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of that historic race.

Tickets for the “Dinner with Champions” are only $60.00 each and may be obtained by mailing a check payable to NCAR to 9456 Greenback Lane, Orangevale, California 95662 or by calling Roy Wilhite at 1-916-709-8400.
Information and graphics provided by NCAR Inc.

Monday, February 19, 2018

1979 Indy 500 Pace Car tribute
at SEMA 2017
The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association's newly-built 1979 “Fox body” (third generation) Mustang Pace Car was on display at the association's booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show. Built to showcase the coming wave of next-generation muscle cars, Eric Brockmeyer penned the design which was executed by the team at Jonathan Goolsby Customs.  

1979 Ford factory photo of the Pace Car replica sold to the public
1979 Ford factory photo of the actual Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

The brand-new 1979 Ford Mustang was selected as the Pace Car for the 63rd running of the Indianapolis 500-mile race. Ford had three specially built Mustangs available during the month of May which were easily identifiable due their T-tops, an option not available to the public.
The 1979 Pace Car Mustang powered by a custom engine built by Roush Engineering was driven by Jackie Stewart for the flying start of the race which was won by Rick Mears in the 'Gould Charge' Penske PC-6 who was awarded a copy of the Pace Car.


This radical build had its original turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine replaced by a Ford Performance Aluminator “Coyote” XS crate engine equipped with Mahle hard-anodized forged pistons and Manley H-beam connecting rods. The new engine is conservatively rated at 500 horsepower which passes into a Bowler-prepped Tremec T56 six-speed transmission. The spent exhaust gases pass through custom headers, 3-inch exhaust and Flowmaster mufflers.  

The car rides on a custom, fully independent suspension Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis fitted with Baer brakes and 18×10- and 19×12-inch Forgeline center-lock wheels shod with Michelin tires. To accommodate the ultra-wide wheels and tires, custom “mini tubs” were built for the rear wheels before the bodywork was finished in a custom yellow mix of PPG Vibrance colors with the paint scheme that uses the striping colors of the 1979 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.  
Photos by the Author except as noted

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A 1930 Model A in the
heart of the Silicon Valley

The most unusual car on display at the Silicon Valley Auto Show which was populated by the latest offering from manufacturers was this 1930 Ford Model A built in the “rat rod” style. Owner and builder James Sneed started with a four-door sedan body and converted it to a two-door body before he chopped the top 3 inches.
The car rides down on the ground thanks to a custom frame and air ride suspension system. The car which Sneed calls “Pist’N Broke” is powered by an unusual (but welcome) choice for a hot rodder over the ubiquitous small-block Chevrolet. The car is powered by a Chrysler 440-cubic inch engine connected to a Chrysler 727 automatic transmission.

All photos by the author

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Two interesting 1967 Camaros
at the 2017 SEMA show

Through the years far and away the most popular car seen at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) shows is the first-generation Chevrolet small rear wheel drive F-body, the Camaro, and the 2017 edition was no different as 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Camaro, which has been in continuous production save for the period from 2002 to 2009. The author found radically 1967 Camaros on display worthy of mention.

This is the thirteenth Camaro, hand-built in Norwood (suburban Cincinnati) Ohio during the early months of 1966 as a pre-production or “pilot” car. This car assigned serial number 124677N100013 was the fifth convertible built finished in Bolero Red with a black interior and white top is known specifically as the “Gear & Axle Test Car.”

Powered by 327 cubic inch Turbo-Fire V-8 engine rated at 300 horsepower by the factory which is backed by a Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission this Camaro is equipped with power steering power brakes and an AM radio and rides on US Royal white wall tires with N96 mag-style wheel covers, which were a $73.75 option.

Owned by Logan Lawson of Pilot Car Registry ( the appearance of the 1967 Camaro “Pilot Car” at SEMA was sponsored by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company.


This “restomod” 1967 Camaro SS is the GoodGuys Rod & Custom Association grand prize giveaway car for 2017 and 2018. Outwardly it appears close to stock finished in Butternut Yellow with a black nose stripe and a hazelnut and mocha interior, but as one would expect with a “restomod” the mechanicals have been massively upgraded with equipment from a huge number of sponsors.

The GoodGuys Camaro is powered by an Edelbrock Performance 420 cubic inch LS1 engine connected to a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission. The car designed by Eric Brockmeyer and built by Goolsby Customs rides on a Roadster Shop chassis fitted with Baer brakes,  B-Forged wheels and BF Goodrich tires.

Registered GoodGuys participants have a chance to become a finalist to win the car, or you can visit to register online.

Photos by the author

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

First one ever seen- Noble M400

The Club Sportiva booth at the 2018 Silicon Valley Auto Show featured a Noble M400 a mid-mounted transverse engine sports car built from 2004 to 2007 in South Africa and sold by Noble Automotive Limited a low-production British sports car company. Only about 220 Noble M400s were imported into the United States and sold for $95,000 each. Noble M400s were classified as kit cars, as the cars were imported less the engine which was then installed by 1G Racing in Hamilton Ohio

The power plant is an aluminum 3-liter DOHC Ford Duratec V6 (as used in the Contour) with four valves per cylinders. Roush Engineering modified the engine with hotter camshafts, revised fuel injection, and twin turbochargers to develop 425 horsepower.
Contemporary road tests found the 2320-pound car accelerated from rest to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and covered the ¼-mile dragstrip in 12 seconds. With a steel space frame with an integral roll cage fitted with double wishbone suspension front and rear the Noble M400 could achieve 1.01 G of lateral acceleration on the skid pad.

Club Sportiva is an exotic car rental company with clubhouses in Menlo Park, Los Angeles, Monterey, and San Jose with rentals available for special occasions, such weddings, anniversaries or birthdays There are a variety of cars and programs to choose from – check them out at
All photos by the author

Monday, February 5, 2018

A quick look at the
2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible

The Chevrolet display area at the 2018 Silicon Valley Auto Show featured this “Sebring Orange” 2019 Corvette ZR1, the first Corvette convertible available since 1970 with the ZR1 designation. Powered by an Eaton twin-scroll supercharged LT5 V-8 engine with a SAE-certified output of 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, the ZR1 convertible carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $123,995, which makes the ZR1 convertible the most expensive Chevrolet passenger car in history.

The engine has a couple of interesting construction details - such as a dual fuel injection system, with a primary direct injection system supplemented with port injection at higher output situations. The two-stage exhaust system uses active and passive elements with what Chevrolet describes as the "loudest and aggressive sounding Corvette in history."  Due the high power output, the Corvette ZR1 utilizes thirteen (13) heat exchangers and a hood cutout.      


Chevrolet promises zero-to-60-mph times of less than three seconds and a quarter-mile time “under 11.0 seconds” and a top speed of “over 200 miles per hour.” Those who desire more on-track performance can specify the $2,995 ZTK Performance package which includes a higher profile adjustable carbon fiber rear wing, and carbon fiber front splitter.

Photos by the author  

Friday, February 2, 2018

Pennzoil funny car at SEMA
On display under the Pennzoil tent in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment market Association) show was this Dodge Charge R/T NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Funny Car. The car owned by Don Schumacher Racing and driven by two-time NHRA champion Matt Hagan placed fifth in the 2017 NHRA Funny Car championship chase.

Hagan who also owns a pair of eponymous hunting, fishing, apparel, and home d├ęcor stores in his native state of Virginia, won four NHRA events in 2017, including the first two events of the season. During the course of the 2017 season Hagan recorded two careers bests. He ran the quickest elapsed time of his career when he covered the 10,000 feet in 3.799 seconds at Lucas Oil Raceway, and the fastest time speed of his career, 338.35 miles per hour, during qualifying for the Menards Heartland Nationals in Topeka Kansas.
All photos by the author