Camaro SS and RS Drive at Barrett Jackson Scottsdale – 2017

If you follow this blog you’ve no doubt seen my posts on this past January’s Barrett Jackson event in Scottsdale, Az, you might even had caught my Facebook Live videos.

Of course I have to say it’s well worth the price of admission for all that there is to see and do.

One event is the Ride and Drive where you are allowed to drive some of the new cars.  They also have a few of the more powerful cars that they only allow you to ride along with a driver, cars like the Hell Cat and Viper and some of the Mustangs.  This year I chose to drive the SS and RS Camaro.

The key is to get there early because the line get long and the track gets crowded.  We arrived at the right time and got a more personal touch.  New for this year was the Breathalyzer test conducted by the Sheriff’s department, a smart idea, considering all the adult beverages available.  But it was a bit early for that.

Here’s  quick little slide show of my trip in one of the Camaro’s.

 

 

The auto cross course they had set up was pretty tight and for the novice this would a challenge and I think it was meant to keep the speeds down.  When you attend these you are accompanied by a local drive either supplied by the dealership or by the car company for this event.

I drove the SS V8 LT Camaro first.  I found the seat comfortable and driving position was really good.  The car had quick response and the V8 really pulled great with hitting the gas.  Not as good as my  2007 C6 Corvette but I was impressed.  As an SCCA auto cross driver I found this  course to  be a bit tighter the standard down here at the regional I’ve driven often.  The SS proved to be a bit sloppy in the corners at speed and it felt like a bigger car – of course it’s it a bit larger than my Vette.  Although I made it round the course with out killing any cones, it would be understandable given how it handled.

Immediately after parking the SS, they had an V6 RS ready and I jumped in.  I really appreciated that, having the SS drive still fresh in the never endign, it would make the comparison, a bit more visceral rather than homogenized by the thought process.

These days you know they can get a lot of power out of V6 engine and even 4 cylinders so I was curious to see how the RS’s V6 felt with my foot pressed to the floor.  I didn’t have any specific expectations, but I was hoping to feel “WOW – this is a only a V6?!?!”, but I have to say it felt like V6.  It was clear the power wasn’t there at the start line.  However, it did get up to speed fairly quickly and by the first real corner you could feel it.  The corner? Well, let’s say it was impressive. While driving SS the ride-a-long driver bet that I’d find the RS a much better handling car in the tight corners, due to the fact that the engine was set back a bit that changed up how the car made it though the corners.  I have to say it was correct.

It’s true that in auto cross that horse power isn’t all you need, in fact, too much can make for rough runs.  The key for any auto cross car is being able to handle the corner as the fastest speed possible.  The RS made it through the course with much sharper corners and it felt really good coming out of them with not a lot of body roll, it was surprising.
So the V8 SS felt powerful (relatively speaking) – more what I’m use to with my Corvette.  The RS felt like a V6 when getting off the line, but had the better cornering than the RS, basically verifying what the ride-a-long driver told me I would find.

It’s not often the average blogger, SCCA racer and car restorer, gets to take ride in or drive the newest cars which I think is a huge gap in what you see in the big time blogs and car magaiznes, so it’s always fun to poke them with the Average Guy’s thoughts when a chance for that experience can be documented.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

barrett jackson scottsdale 2017barrett jackson scottsdale 2017

It’s Car Auction Season – Barrett Jackson Car Show – Westworld of Scottsdale‎

I love this time of year here in Arizona.  Not just because you can work on your classic/muscle car in the garage without feeling like a Christmas turkey in the oven.  I love this time of year because it’s Car Auction Season!   For the next 3-4 weeks classic cars …

Journalist Crashes 2016 Camaro – GEEZZZE!!!

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video of the Jalopnik journalist hitting the wall with a 2016 mule Camaro.  Enjoy and then check below for my commentary.

Clearly the guy felt bad and a little shaken up, but the reality is, he shouldn’t have driven the car. If you just look at the beginning frame of the video or notice the position of his arms just before he hit the wall, you can tell there the skill set just isn’t there.

I auto cross my cars – my C4 when I had it and my C6 now (not to mention my drag racing stint with my Mustang). I’ve attended my SCCA Solo courses and even attended some training with Bondurant at Phoenix International Raceway with Formula 1 cars. And what I’ve learned is that you must have more than just enthusiasm over a new car, especially a powerful one. You have to have some driving skills and you must have respect for the car’s abilities and know yours.

Here is a parallel event I was part of with my corvette club.  We rented a part of the Bondurant facility to have an auto cross event.  It included all generations of Corvettes as well as a few other non-Corvette vehicles.   One of our members just purchased a brand new C6 and was very eager to run the course.  Short version of the story is – he lost it on his second run, went through the chain-linked fence at a post and got the car hung up on the concrete footing.  We had to dig him out and the Bondurant crew weren’t all that happy.   Clearly he wasn’t ready for the abilities/power of his C6 even though he had the enthusiasm (and for pete’s sake keep the traction control on until you are used to the car).

Don’t get me wrong, accidents happen, just watch any F1, drag or NASCAR race and you’ll see professional skilled driver hit the wall.  It happens.

Now back to the Jalopnik incident.  If you watch the video you can tell the journalist seems pretty excited. However his driving skills seem a bit off in a number of ways.  For instance, his sitting position is off, especially for track driving (maybe he’s just super tall or the mule car is not equipped with adjustable seats) for one.   You can tell by his expression in a corner, prior to his last corner and the contact with the wall, that he was at he edge of his abilities with that particular car.  As he goes into the now famous turn his arms cross – I didn’t realize a human could contort himself that much!!

I also found interesting was some of his commentary leading up to the crash with words like “rolly-poely”, “composed”, “nimble” especially in light of his comments that he was there to discuss the how it handles at the track.  You must have the ability to test those things to give your readers a comparison and the proper (or more familiar) terminology helps e.g., replace “rolly-polly” with “body roll”.   Wouldn’t GM want that too or at least his publisher?

There was a comment in his piece where he gave full disclosure, stating that GM wanted him to drive so badly, that they flew him out and paid for food and booze.  Don’t know if that’s ‘special’ or standard fare.  I also didn’t understand his comment – “GM asked me to leave the track” and they had to continued the video out in the street – seems a tough way to deal with someone, you really wanted there. Hopefully, GM doesn’t want their money back for the airfare or bill him for the damage to the mule.

Now I’m not a great blogger nor the greatest driver, but I do have car guy experience (including testing new models in a small auto cross scenario) and a fair grasp of the my native language.  I’m not sure what all of his credentials are, he did say he had some track time, and I did look over some of his other entries and gained my own opinions.

It suffices to say that I much prefer a “car guy turned journalist” vs.  “journalist turned car guy”, especially when to reading ‘car guy’ stuff and  certainly for reviews like this one.

I do feel badly for him and GM and but I’m also sure it wasn’t the first time on media day that a writer dented one of the cars.  He just had his published.  And thank the auto gods that he wasn’t driving a Z28!!!  I would have wept opening.

 

Regards

Tim

2016 camaro ss

Will the Redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Lead the Muscle Car Pack?

The 2016 Camaro SS is powered by a Corvette Stingray-sourced 6.2-liter V8 that produces 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. By comparison, the 2015 Camaro SS has 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. No matter the engine, the …

 

 

What Makes A Bulletproof Racing Starter? – Chevy Hardcore

There are some areas of your drag, oval or road course beast that are weak areas for the stress of 420 hp and 400 ft-lbs of torque.  Here is a great way to eliminate one.  Chase the link at the bottom for the complete story from Chevy Hardcore!!

When considering the essential parts list for a race car build, we tend to think of exhaust headers, cylinder heads, turbochargers and so on. While it might not be the most glamorous piece of the puzzle, the starter is an absolutely vital component in your build – if it kicks the bucket, you’re dead in the water. And though it may not see the same sort of prolonged stresses that a driveshaft or set of tires sees on race day, it’s still contending with plenty of abuse from heat exposure and demands of high performance components which typically operate far outside the design specifications of an OEM starter.

Source: What Makes A Bulletproof Racing Starter? – Chevy Hardcore

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

F1 and the Nürburgring – hope dies last

But it was Dreyer’s government which plumped for an unlikely Nürburgring buyer: auto racing parts company Capricorn with a head office not far north of the circuit in Düsseldorf. Her transport minister, Roger Lewentz, said at the time that it was
Roo Motorsports leaps into NASCAR truck series from Salisbury

Roo Motorsports, the new Aussie NASCAR team based in Salisbury, plans to enter the truck-racing series next year and perhaps the Nationwide series in the future. Roo held an event, complete with satellite link to owners in Australia, earlier this month

Good Guy’s Car Show – Scottsdale, Az – The Wagons

I thought I’d start off with one (one of many…mind you!!) favorite car classes, the Station Wagons!!   I am a big fan of the 1950’s, 1960’s wagons.  From the Nomads to the to the Falcon wagons the styling is varied, options many and with a little muscle added, they are fine machines!

If you’ve read my bio, you may recall my first car (given to me as a graduation gift back in the late 1970’s) was a restored 1966 Chevy Impala convertible.  Awesome car with the reliable 283 engine.  So it’s not hard to guess that I’d love seeing the wagon version of my Chevy. Well is just so happened that there were two 1966 wagons at the show. 

The first one had the 327 engine and the owner added nice rims to hold it up. I’d improve the stance a bit by getting wider rubber for the rear tires.  I think the roof rack is excellent.    (I guess I should mention the Pinto wagon next to it.  It was nicely done too.)

 

1966 Chevy Impala Wagon

1966 Chevy Impala Wagon

 

Another 1966 Chevy Wagon.

Another 1966 Chevy Wagon.  Same 327 engine and very nice wheels

 

 

Great lines. No roof rack

Great lines. No roof rack

 

DSC_0131

Interior was spectacular with the original horn which is impressive.

 

Crazy or not I love the wagon versions of my Impala.

 

There were a few others that I thought notable.

 

Beautiful Pontaic with a 326 engine

Beautiful Pontiac with a 326 engine

 

Here a great little Nash Rambler Super.

 

DSC_0121 DSC_0122 DSC_0123 DSC_0124

 

This one will floor ya!!

Mercury Colony-Park Monterey.

Mercury Colony-Park Monterey.

 

Not Real  Wood mind you, but still nicely done.

Not Real Wood mind you, but still nicely done.

DSC_0142

Love the wide white walls!!

 

Let's talk painted dash!!! My favorite!!!

Let’s talk painted dash!!!  One of my favorite features of ’50’s and ’60’s cars!  Who needs padding?

 

AW Dude....it's a STICK!!!!

AW Dude….it’s a STICK!!!!  Lots of Chrome!!!

 

 

Did you know that the Dodge Dart could be had in a wagon?

Yup!!!  Although I'm pretty sure it didn't have a V8 and Dual exhaust originally.

Yup!!! Although I’m pretty sure it didn’t have a V8 and dual exhaust originally.

 

But don’t think wagons are just show cars.    Here’s a shot from the autocross competition.

There wagon in staging!!

There wagon in staging!!

The wagon rolls up in a few frame and in case you thought it might be six cylinder…turn up you volume!!!!

 That’s a great sound.

Thanks for reading and if you have a wagon you are proud of, drop me a note.

 

Tim

 

Cars and Global Warming: Why Station Wagons Are Greener Than SUVs

Image: Cars and Global Warming: Why Station Wagons Are Greener Than SUVs The 2015 Honda Fit is pictured at the Jacob Javits Convention Center during the New York International Auto Show in New York April 17, 2014. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters/Landov).

best vintage station wagonsbest vintage station wagons

Good Guys Car Show 2015 Scottsdale, Az Videos

If you picked up my Twitter feed (@AGCarRestore) you would have seen a great cross-section of the cars and activities going on as they occurred in Scottsdale last weekend.  Below are the a few short videos that give you a feel of the activities and over the next few post, I’ll share some ‘most excellent’ cars.

 

 

 

Great sights and sounds.

 

 

 View of the Autocross pit.

Staging

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

IF YOU LOVE CAR ART, CHECK OUT THE PRINTS FOR SALE BY LOCAL ARTISTS. CHASE THE LINK: CAR ART FOR SALE

 

 

good guys car showgood guys car show

Hot Rods on Display at Good Guys Car Show

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Hundreds of car enthusiasts put their favorite rides on display at the Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Randy Paxton says there’s almost nothing like a day spent in his fully rebuilt ’68 convertible Camero cruisin’ in a car show. “Looks

Action Shot Contest – Average Guys Muscle, Classic Whatever You Got.

I’m a member of a lot of groups/pages on FB and they all are great, but I grow weary of the static, standing by the side your car photos!!!

  Let’s see some action!!!!!

Average Guy’s Action Photo/Video contest starts today 7/12 and runs through 7/19.  Let’s see your classic/vintage, muscle, race car (even just your daily driver) in action. There will be at least two categories – still action shots and videos.

Only a couple of rules:

1.  Be safe.

2. It has to be you and it has to your car.

3.  It has to be an action shot either a still photograph or video.

Something like these:

Auto crossing with my C4 at Bondurant facility.


Auto crossing with my C6 Sports Car Club of American (SCCA) Sole Class.

_JKP2736-1970-mustang-web

Lining up my ’70 Mustang at the drags against a Ford Focus!!!!

There will be prizes given away, including car art take by one of the artist on http://wp.me/P2YxYx-19F  and we’ll check the budget for some on-line auto parts gift cards as well.

Get you pics or videos to us either on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/AGCarRestoration  or email them to AGCarRestoration@cox.net or timsweet@cox.net.

This should be fun!!!!

Tim Sweet

AGCarRestoration@cox.net

 

America Had The Most Badass Car At The 24 Hours Of Le Mans

High praise for the C7.R!!!!

As a European, I must salute you. The two Corvette C7.Rs were simply amazing at Le Mans. And not just because of those burnouts.The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the greatest race in the world, and while it certainly works without Americans, having a few stars and stripes around always makes it more exciting. Just think of all those GT40s back in the day!The C7.R is no GT40, but Chevy’s newest racer built by Pratt & Miller for the GTE Pro and USCC GT classes. It’s no GT40 because it’s not a prototype and also because they couldn’t beat Ferrari at Le Mans this time: The #73 car finished second behind a 458 Italia while #74 got the fourth place thanks to a rapid 911 RSR.Still, great results from a pair of brand new cars fighting against the best of Europe, especially with Cadillac’s paint from the early 2000s quietly fading away in the background as a constant reminder of previous GM failures at Le Mans.

via America Had The Most Badass Car At The 24 Hours Of Le Mans.

C7 R

C7 R

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

Auto Factoids for the Week of Feb 9, 2014

Here are your Auto Factoids for the week!!!

 

2/10/1942 Pontiac stops producing cars for World War II

Eventually all the U.S. car manufacturers halted production, but many turned to creating something else for the war.  What did Pontiac  make for the war effort?

Pontiac began making an anti-aircraft gun for the U.S. Navy  in its sheet metal plant and produced Bofors automatic field guns for the U.S. Army.

Swedish Designed Bofors

Swedish Designed Bofors

Pontiac also supplied front axles for the M-5 tanks built by Cadillac and air-launched torpedoes for the U.S. Navy.

Air Launched

Air Launched

M5 Tank by Cadillac and parts by Pontiac

M5 Tank by Cadillac and parts by Pontiac

 

2/11/1932 – Ford develops it’s new V8

It as developed from 1926 to 1932 and was known as the ‘fatty’.  Compared to the straight 6’s and the straight 8’s it was. It was a flat head V8, the first of its kind.  Economically produced and was first installed and sold in the Ford Model 18  but the car was referred to as the “Ford V8”

Beautiful!!!

Beautiful!!!

I love the look of these sedans.  (Quit hacking them up!!!)

I love the look of these sedans. (Quit hacking them up!!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You pony car guys should really appreciate this innovation or else your Mustangs and Camaros would be a lot longer up front!!

2/12/1908 – New York to Paris Auto Race

The race was won by George Schuster driving the Thomas Flyer.

Car that won the first New  York to Paris race

Car that won the first New York to Paris race

2/15/1929 – Graham Hill, British race car driver was born in London.  He raced with Lotus, BRM, Brabham, and Hill

racing teams. Graham didn’t pass his drivers test until he was 24  years old.  He died when he a plain he as flying crashed in England.

 

2/15/1944 – SCCA  (Sports Car Club of America) was formed – I am card holding member.  It’s a great experience

 

Thanks for reading

Tim

 

Car Feature: Jacobo Herrera’s Lincoln Is “The Missing Link” – RodAuthority.com

Whether you like chopped, dropped or lowered car or not (they really aren’t my thing) you have to marvel at the workmanship that goes into one.  This Lincoln is unbelievable.

 

Car Feature: Jacobo Herrera’s Lincoln Is “The Missing Link” – RodAuthority.com.

 

When it comes to popular customs and lead sleds, one car stands above the rest as far as the most iconic in the industry, at least for most. After all, the 1949 Merc is no stranger to the hobby and finds itself accompanied by many of its same kind at virtually any show you attend. But just because the late 40s Mercury is one of the more notable lead sled designs amped up by today’s popularity doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some stiff competition out there for the most gorgeous low-slung design.

AWESOME!

AWESOME!

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

custom carscustom cars

Sittin Pretti draws custom cars for charitable cause | SLIDESHOW

ARLINGTON — Hundreds of auto enthusiasts turned out again to generate thousands of dollars for the Arlington Boys & Girls Club at the annual Sittin Pretti Summer Slam car show at the Arlington Airport on Saturday, Aug. 17. “It’s been a pleasure to

 

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept Debuts With 500 Horsepower TT V8

I’ve never been a “caddy” guy.  Well that’s not true.  I’d would drive a 60’s or less Caddy.  But I haven’t seen anything I’d take over  a Corvette since then.

But what do you think?  Here is the video:

http://youtu.be/Ec4SsKL3byI

cadillac concept elmiraj

Thanks for reading.

Tim