Thursday, May 3, 2012

Old trucks, Cuban cars, and Lego-mobiles in this week's Thursday Drive-By

Once again, I have scanned the Internet in search of some fun stories and unusual links for your automotive viewing pleasure. This week we look back at the truck races at I-70 Speedway, the car culture in Cuba, and the creative world of Lego cars.

Some of these are more current stories, and some of them are older collections. I’m just trying to find things that I personally think are interesting, which I hope, in turn, will be interesting to you too. Check out the links below and see what you think. And as usual, if you like this blog, feel free to share it with your friends too!

You can always spot a Cuban car in a photograph. They tend to look so horrible. But at the same time, they have so much character. Due to trade embargoes, Cubans have been holding 1950s American cars together with spit and bailing wire since they were new. Today, they’re a part of Cuban culture. Sure, most of them have become automotive Frankensteins—shells of their former selves. But here in the U.S.A., most of the same cars were scrapped long ago. And the ones that do exist either do not operate, or they have been restored to the point that you don’t want to drive them. And virtually none of them ever were used as long and as hard as those in Cuba. Cuban Classics brings some of that history to our desk tops.  For a look at the history and resourcefulness of American cars in Cuban culture, check out this link.

Before Kansas City had Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (formerly known as Supertrucks, then the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) raced on the high-banked half-mile of I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo. My dad and I saw every single race that series ran out there, and I even worked there for the last couple. Midwest Racing Archives discusses every truck race at I-70 from 1995 to 1999, and talks a little about Heartland Park and the Iowa Speedway. I always believed that any stock car racing series would be more entertaining if they held an event at I-70, and these truck races were definitely exciting. I miss that track dearly, but at least this post brings back some good memories. Check it out here.

My son BHo is really into Legos. It seems like he wants the Star Wars sets, but ultimately, they all end up in a big tub, and he ends of building cars and busses and things. And you know, the more I play with them with him, the more I realize I like building cars out of Legos too. It’s crazy how addictive those little colored blocks can be. Anyway, I ran across The Lego Car Blog, which highlights various Lego vehicle sets. It’s actually pretty cool to see them. I didn’t even know most of these existed. This is particularly apropos right now, because the new Legoland recently opened up in Crown Center. Get some ideas on your next Lego build by visiting this link.

I like old trucks. Heck, I’ve got one. But it’s always fascinating to see these vehicles back when they were actually being used like trucks. I mean, let’s face it; trucks weren’t built to take to car shows. They were meant to do work. And that’s just what they did. Just my little ’63 half-ton truck can be a challenge to drive compared to a modern vehicle, so for a guy to jockey around a 1940s semi with a trailer full of new Studebakers had to be a white-knuckle proposition. This is a blog called Mr. Ed’s Old Time Truck Pictures, and it features a nice post with, well, old time truck pictures. It’s just a neat little collection of images that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Check them out here.

Would you like to own some of the greatest vintage promotional photographs ever taken? The GM Photostore is an absolute candy store of fabulous images from ever era of the automobile. This is the photographic archive of General Motors. And they offer everything from raw images to vintage advertisements for your viewing pleasure. I have purchased some of these pictures to frame and hang in my collection, but you can also have them make you up a mug or mouse pad, or they can send you framed art. And even if you aren’t in the mood to buy something right away, this is such a fascinating collection of photos and art that you could easily spend hours just window shopping (or is that “Windows shopping” since it’s on the computer?). Anyhoo, if you haven’t been here before, I know you;’re going to love it. The link is right here.

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