Thursday, July 5, 2012

Renamed drivers and a re-bodied Cadillac in this week's Thursday Drive-By

Today’s Thursday Drive-By has some cool stuff, and a couple of self-serving links that are still cool.

We’ve got a bit of vintage racing, with a great story about undercover drivers from the Midwest Racing Archives. We’ve got a little automotive mayhem with a video compilation. There are some awesome old drag racing photos from the Jalopy Journal. And a famously hideous Cadillac returns to Le Mans.

I’m also including a couple of links from Dale Wilch’s Man Cave and Tallant’s Hot Rod Shop. These two get special treatment, because they are the first two paying sponsors ever on the Hover Motor Company blog. I am very proud that companies are starting to take notice, and very excited to have these folks on board. I’ve written stories about both of these businesses in the past, and am honored that they chose to take a chance with me here.

Midwest Racing Archives is a fantastic blog that recalls the best vintage racing stories from this part of the country. In this entry, they re-publish a 1958 article that talks about how some of the top drivers of the day were racing at the track under aliases. Apparently, since the track was not sanctioned by the IMCA, hot shoes like Johnny Beauchamp and Bob Burdick weren’t supposed to race there. So to get around that rule, they just entered under made-up names. A follow-up, which is printed after the story, said seven drivers ended up being fined $100 each for this rules violation. This interesting little bit of racing history can be further researched by clicking this link.

If you like watching idiots tear up their cars, or get a thrill from listening to the wail of a Lamborghini V12, then you might enjoy this entry from Jalopnik entitled “The Greatest Under 30-Second Car Videos.” Now while I think I could argue with some of their choices, this post is still a great way to kill a few minutes, and there are some things on there that you’ll have a hard time erasing from your memory. If you’d like to leave this page for a little while and check out one with a much younger, hipper vibe, put your mouse to work on this link.

In 1950, prolific race car builder Briggs-Cunningham took a new Cadillac to the revered Le Mans racing circuit to compete. This was no ordinary car, though. In place of the flowing Harley Earl-designed body that would normally be on this car, was a low, streamlined slab. The French nicknamed the car “Le Monstre,” and compared to the spunky sports cars that normally competed there at the time, this must have been a monster indeed. The Hemmings Blog gives a little insight to the unsuccessful debut of the car, and tells you where it can be seen today. Find out where by clicking this link.

Is there anything better than looking at recently discovered 50-year-old drag racing pictures? I don’t think so, and I think you’ll agree with me after checking out this post from the Jalopy Journal. These are from Puyallup Valley Raceway in 1961, and were taken by young Bill Drake and his Brownie camera. This great little collection of pictures shows a variety of different cars, and even captures some of the push trucks. Today they have vintage races, car shows, and Cacklefest events, but this is the real deal. Check out the link here.

A couple of weeks ago, I went and checked out Dale Wilch’s Man Cave, which is a cool automotive swap meet that takes place every Wednesday in an underground cave near the Fox 4 TV studios. Dale is an entrepreneurial kind of guy, and now he’s trying out a new “Bid What You’ll Pay” auction format. What you do is look at the stuff that’s pictured for sale on the Facebook page, go to the Man Cave on Wednesday night, put a bid in, and hopefully wind up with something cool for cheap. There’s no reserve on this stuff, so who knows—you could get a set of wheels or a grille for your Dodge truck for just a few bucks. See the items for sale this time at this link.

You know I make it to a bunch of car shows. So I have a pretty good idea which cars belong to the regulars. And Susan Tallant from Tallant’s Auto Body and Hot Rod Shop is about as regular as they come. Tallant’s radical and familiar creations range from a slick Chevy Nova to a gleaming ‘67 Firebird, plus they’re usually displayed with other peoples’ cars that they also worked their magic on. The paint and bodywork they do on these rides is as good as I’ve ever seen. Heck, if I let them redo my truck, it would be so nice, I’d be afraid to drive it! I’m also proud to say that Tallant’s is the newest sponsor here on the Hover Motor Company blog, so I would really appreciate it if you took some time to check out their website.

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