Thursday, May 17, 2012

A little fly-by in the Thursday Drive-By

There’s a whole world of cool stuff out there on the Internet, but sometimes you just don’t have time to go search for it. Well, I’m here to help. Here are five links to things that I think you might find interesting out there on the old web.

As usual, they are mostly car-related. I am adding a link about an airplane, but I think you’ll like it anyway. There are also old racing photos, old racing cars in new photos, movie cars, and a dream car restoration.

See all of this and more by checking out the links below in this week’s Thursday Drive-By.

My parents are from Colorado Springs, and when I was a kid, we almost always made it back to Colorado for the annual running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. I don’t know what it is about sitting up there in the mountains waiting for one car to streak by at a time, but it is pretty awesome. The PPIHC is the second-oldest race in America, and as a result, there has been a lot of history made there. From the dominance of the Unser family to the spectacular crashes, The Race to the Clouds is one of the most dangerous, and most respected motorsports events in the world. The actual Pikes Peak Highway has now been paved all the way to the top, so the iconic hairpin drifts and rooster tails are a thing of the past. And speaking of the past, here are a few vintage photos of the Hill Climb, courtesy of their official website.

You’ve heard of barn finds, but how about a Kittyhawk HS-B fighter plane that has been sitting untouched in the Sahara Desert since it crashed there in World War II? Vintage Wings tries to piece together the story of this lost Canadian aircraft, which was discovered by an oil exploration team in March 2012. Sadly, now that it has been discovered, it appears that people are starting to scavenge and vandalize it. What was the real story behind this mysterious aircraft? You’ll learn more than you ever thought possible by clicking this link.

When I go to the movies, I tend to use up lots of energy checking out the cars. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy the Internet Movie Car Database. It might not be every car ever seen on the big and small screen, but it’s pretty close, and getting bigger all the time. Avid movie vehicle fans have loaded the site with video captures of not only the star cars, but also many of the background vehicles. It is a great site, but be careful. Once you start clicking around in there, you may never be able to get away. It is very addictive. Click here.

If you’re interested in the GM Motorama Dream Cars from the 1950s and ‘60s, you’ve probably heard the name Joe Bortz. This guy owns or has owned the majority of these vehicles that are not in GM’s private collection—at least the cars that still exist. Because they weren’t meant to be sold to the public, most of them were destroyed after they retired from the show circuit. The ’55 Chevrolet Biscayne was one of those cars that was supposed to be crushed, but somehow survived. Well, barely survived. It was cut up into pieces, and left in a Michigan junk yard. Bortz discovered the remains, and over the course of many years, performed a stunning restoration on the one-off car. You can read the adventure on Bortz’s website.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see stock cars from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s actually racing again? Just to hear those vintage engines and know those cars were showroom fresh just seems like it would be awesome. Of course, no one can turn back the clock. Or can they? The Historic Grand National is a club dedicated to owners of vintage race cars, and they often get together and display or even drive their cars at select events. The cars are just great, too. Even the pictures are mesmerizing. I would love to catch an event where these guys are exhibiting some day. The photography is very clear and bright as well. Take a look at their photo page here.

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